“Come To Me (Peace)” by Mary J. Blige (2007)

From the land of fortuitous song placements, “Come to Me (Peace)” arrives as I’ve just worked towards mending fences with a couple of people I care about who I’d had some static with in the past year. While MJB’s song is about a romantic couple, the lyrics could just as easily apply to family members or friends who are trying to put the pieces back together in their relationship. All it’d take is a couple of minor lyrical tweaks. And I suppose it’s telling that I relate to this song more from a familial or friendship perspective, even though MJB specifically mentions marriage in the first verse.

Those lyrics find Mary pledging devotion, vowing to “restore freedom” and “carve away the worries in your heart”. The words (written by Mary herself, along with Tricky Stewart and The-Dream) are heartfelt, but at the end of the day, anything related to MJB has to focus on her voice. By the time this song was released in the late ‘00s, Mary’s interpretive skills were impeccable. She was also enjoying her most fruitful commercial stage in her career, so “Come to Me” finds Mary in super-fearless mode. She sounds strong and vulnerable, and she doesn’t oversell the song one bit. Her tone is meditative and conversational, but forceful. It’s passionate without being loud, and thus packs a heavier punch than if she’d just turned on the jets and belted it out.

All-time top 5 vocal performance from the Queen.

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