Rolling Stone (5/15/97, p.112) - 3 Stars (out of 5) - "...she's moved beyond sound to real singing....There's shading, depth and control in her vocals....she's consolidating power by proving herself on more traditional R&B terms..."
Spin (6/97, p.118) - 8 (out of 10) - "..Blige still sings like she has scars that will never heal. Her tone and phrasing contain a fight-or-flight intensity that's both brazen and vulnerable....Like no diva since Aretha Franklin, Blige seems to command a song on sheer impulse and willpower..."
Entertainment Weekly (5/2/97, pp.54-55) - "...having made an uneven album packed with career-peak performances, she is the only example of a hip-hop soul practitioner attempting to make a record that's more than a product placement opportunity for Lexus and Cristal..." - Rating: B+
The Source (6/97, p.134) - "...a testament to the power of musical progression and personal perseverance. After years of honing the skill necessary to balance street savvy beats and cerebral songwriting, Mary J. is one artist that can say she's gone to new, higher ground..."
Rap Pages (6/97, p.86) - "...Mary has allowed everyone to gaze into her eyes and become enchanted with her ghetto princess....This album shows that Mary's grown vocally....SHARE MY WORLD is an oral version of Alvin Ailey, raw and distinctly Black..."
NME (Magazine) (4/19/97, p.46) - "...Imagine Lauryn Hill cured of her karaoke obsession...or L'il Kim after a spell in reform school and the globe-topping potential of SHARE MY WORLD becomes clear: Mary's is not a minority appeal....respect all around...."
Personnel includes: Mary J. Blige (vocals); R. Kelly (vocals, various instruments); Rodney Jerkins (rap vocals, various instruments, programming); Lil' Kim, Nas, The Lox (rap vocals); Rich Nice (spoken vocals, programming); Ol' Dirty Bastard (spoken vocals); Babyface (various instruments, programming); Malik Pendleton (various instruments, background vocals); Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Fred Jerkins III (various instruments); Mike Scott, Michael Jordan, George Benson (guitar); Minio Class (Fender Rhodes); Joshua Milan, George R. "Golden Fingers" Pearson (keyboards); Nathan East (bass); Mr. Lee, Stephen George, Poke, Tone (programming); D.J. Do It All (scratches); La Tonya Blige-DaCosta, Mary Brown, Shanice Wilson, Stephanie (background vocals).
Producers: Poke, Tone, Rich Nice, Rodney Jerkins, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Malik Pendleton, R. Kelly, Babyface, Bryce Wilson, Fred Jerkins III, James Mtume.
Engineers: Rich Travali, Ben Garrison, Steve Hodge, Dexter Simmons, Ken Lewis, Stephen George, Chris Brickley, Rick Behrens, Brad Gilderman, Angela Piva, Tom Vercillo, Tony Maserati.
SHARE MY WORLD was nominated for a 1988 Grammy Award for Best R&B Album.
Uber-producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis come aboard for this hip-hop diva's third album, but they don't take over the way they do with more impressionable singers. SHARE MY WORLD remains very much Mary J. Blige's album, featuring 17 tracks worth of the same bumpin' soul that has made her one of the premier singers of the '90s. Blige earned the title "queen of hip-hop soul" with her amazing blend of hip-hop beats and R&B vocals on her debut album, WHAT'S THE 411?, and then followed up with the equally strong MY LIFE, which showed off a more personal side. On SHARE MY WORLD, she invites you to share a world of true success.
When Blige sings, whether it be a ballad or a hip-hop track, she sings from the heart, both to and for her audience. Collaborating with R. Kelly, Nas, Lil' Kim, Bryce Wilson of Groove Theory and many more, she once again offers the best new music in her genre. It doesn't get better than this.
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- Mary J. Blige Smooth Jazz Tribute (The Smooth Jazz All Stars)