Charlie Butler. Music Writer at Mi-Soul Radio. Follow @CharlieBCopy‘Thick of It’ – Mary J. BligeSuch expansiveness and snare-powered pace is not Mary J. Blige’s stock-in-trade. We’re used to slow ballads and melodic pop numbers from the American singer. Her new single ‘Thick of It’ is a soaring epic. And that has something to do with the song’s lyrical content. It concerns a breakup and a broken heart that clearly took its emotional toll. This is reflected in the size of everything the song does: the giant drums at the beginning, the even larger choruses punctuating the verses and Mary J. Blige’s undeniable and inimitable vocal talent. She can’t be mistaken and you can’t help but enjoy it.‘Our Anthem’ – JoeBased in part on the American national anthem, in part on ‘Try a Little Tenderness’ by Otis Redding and in part on the social divisions of the USA, ‘Our Anthem’ by Joe is a hard-hitting commentary on the nation currently at the centre of the world. Starting with a sample of ‘Star Spangled Banner’ and eventually mixing with the lyrics of Redding’s original version, the song highlights many of the contradictions that make the country so unique. Joe pays homage to Redding’s 1966 classic by making his a slow burn that builds into something frenetic and wild. By the end I wish it would just carry on and on.‘Feeling U’ – Sonny FoderaIt feels wrong to be listening to this song when it’s dark and wet and generally quite miserable outside. Because this track doesn’t sound like any of those things. Released on Defected Records, Sonny Fodera’s ‘Feeling U’ is a glittering club banger that moves from ethereal to dancey to grimy all in the space of a few minutes. Although it was released a while ago, it’s testament to the strong position in which dance music currently finds itself. And although we may be heading into the long British winter, it won’t stop us putting on songs like this and pretending it’s sunshine outside.