Mary J. Blige And T.I. Go Country With Kid Rock On New Track “Care”

Becky Bain | September 9, 2010 11:39 am

Mary J. Blige is such a consummate professional, the songstress could pull off anything… right? The Queen of Soul tries her hand at country in the mid-tempo, feel good twanged-out track, “Care”, featuring T.I. and Kid Rock. Does Mary have more spark channeling her inner Reba McEntire and Trisha Yearwood than she did on the “throwaway” song “Break Up To Make Up“? Let’s hope. Jump below to see how much you care for “Care”:

[wpaudio url=”//″ text=”Mary J. Blige feat. T.I. & Kid Rock” dl=”0″]

Well, this is just a big mess. Try as we might, we can’t really sugarcoat something that sounds just so unnatural to our ears. Mary’s recently surfaced Reggae-fused track “Anything You Want” was ludicrous enough, but this country/rap/rock hootenanny just sounds like it should be performed at the local state fair.

We don’t mind Mary sidestepping out of R&B to experiment with different genres from time to time—her duet with U2 on “One” was divine, and her delicate Led Zeppelin cover of “Stairway To Heaven” was surprisingly poignant. In fact, her previous collaboration with Kid Rock at VH1’s Fashion Rocks 2008—the duo sang The Temptations’ “(I Know) I’m Losing You”—is pretty jammin’.

But “Care” just comes off like a desperate plea to evoke some sort of nostalgic Americana to create a crossover audience with country fans. Kid Rock (when is he going to grow up and become a Man Rock already?) has got the rural-rock vibe to pull this off, but Mary and T.I. sound incredibly out of place on this watery tune.

MJB is certainly at a point in her career where she can take risks without having to worry that she’ll alienate or lose her fanbase—but honestly, Mary, what’s wrong with sticking with R&B and soul? You’re so good at it! If it ain’t broke…