Love & Life

Common Sense Media says

Soul Queen covers a range of emotions about life.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Some powerful self-image-boosting material juxtaposed with lyrics like "I'll do what you want if you don't hurt me" (in "Ooh!") make the overall message confusing.

Not applicable

Suggestive sexuality --lots!-- but very little that's explicit.


A "s--t" and "N" word here and there, but not all that often.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There's "a fifth by my side" in "Don't Go." Love as an addiction is a whole other story......

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Mary's message careens from girlfriend solidarity to racial pride to giving up way too much for love. There's some God stuff in there, too. In a way, the songs cancel each other out. Younger listeners might have a question or two.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's the story?

Mary J. Blige does herself--and her girlfriends -- proud on this stunning CD. The dramatic beginning -- a moody synthesized instrumental leading into the artist's answering machine greeting--might be over the top, as are the rapped accolades by P. Diddy and Jay-Z. But once Mary herself enters the scene, the production and arrangements are interesting, tasteful, and beautifully executed. Especially notable on LOVE & LIFE is the texture of the background vocals, and the way they complement and enhance Blige's well-delivered leads.

Is it any good?


The songs are interesting throughout the CD, though occasionally cringe-worthy. The socially conscious "Finally Made It (Interlude)" delivers a strong "If I could do it, so can you" message. Then "Ooh!" follows, with "I do what you want if you don't hurt me--I'll cook and clean, I'll make you happy." We could all live without more of this particular message in music. But overall, Mary J. Blige covers a range of emotions about life, love, pride, and prejudice with style and beauty -- and with great backup vocals to match.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about artists singing about their personal lives. Do you like it when singers divulge details of their good and bad times? Do you think personal stories add to a song? In what way?

Music details

Artist:Mary J. Blige
Release date:August 19, 2003
Label:Geffen Records
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of Love & Life was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written bymc2004 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
Teen, 14 years old Written byshadow0896 October 13, 2010
i love mary she is so cool.
What other families should know
Great messages


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