Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Mary J Blige|
Genres: Pop, R&B
Track Listings: 1. No One Will Do 2. Enough Cryin 3. About You 4. Be Without You 5. Gonna Breakthrough 6. Good Woman Down 7. Take Me as I Am 8. Baggage 9. Can't Hide from Luv 10. MJB da MVP 11. Can't Get Enough 12. Ain't R... more »
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Track Listings: 1. No One Will Do 2. Enough Cryin 3. About You 4. Be Without You 5. Gonna Breakthrough 6. Good Woman Down 7. Take Me as I Am 8. Baggage 9. Can't Hide from Luv 10. MJB da MVP 11. Can't Get Enough 12. Ain't Really Love 13. I Found My Everything 14. Father in You 15. Alone 16. One
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An aptly-titled tour de force!
Reginald D. Garrard | Camilla, GA USA | 12/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If there is justice in the universe, Mary J's latest release will definitely introduce her to a much larger audience and bring her a truckload of awards, along with multi-platinum sales. There is, no doubt, that the singer poured all of her considerable vocal and songwriting talents into this most personally revealing and musically satisfying album. Co-writing no less than eleven of the listed sixteen songs (there is a "hidden" bonus cut included at the end of track 16), Blige is a spokesperson for women, as well as a "therapist" that can give good counsel to men as they deal the topsy-turvy relations game.
On an album wherein all the cuts are outstanding, my favorites include "Enough Cryin'", a triumph of writing, Blige's trademark forceful vocal performance, brilliant orchestral arrangement, and extraordinary background accompaniment; "About You," featuring Will.i.am and legendary Nina Simone, is another brilliantly orchestrated track; the poetic "Be Without You"; "Good Woman," a thought-provoking and toe-tapping message to the young sistahs; and the double-threat of "Take Me as I Am" and "Baggage".
"MJB Da MVP" chronicles Blige's triumphant fourteen-year (and counting) career, expressing the singer's highs and lows, as well as her appreciation of her fans.
There are not enough superlatives that can be heaped upon "Ain't Really Love." This is the kind of song that Aretha could've done in her prime and, obviously, the "Queen's" scepter has been passed to Mary.
The gospel-influenced "I Found My Everything," co-written by featured vocalist Raphael Saadig, has a Prince-thing about it, musically and lyrically.
"Father in You" is sheer perfection in more ways than one as a tribute to fathers and strong men.
And the last (credited) cut with U2 ("One") demonstrates that Blige can hold her own (and on occasion, overpower) the best on the world's musical stage.
Another bonus of the release is the breathtaking photography and attire of the singer.
Blige has never looked sexier and more captivating.
Mariah Carey best be glad that this album was not released earlier in the year.
Mary J's "emancipation" is far superior to "Mimi's"!"
Break On Through
Thomas Magnum | NJ, USA | 12/23/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Breakthrough is possibly the best album of Mary J. Blige's great career. Ms. Blige's singing has gained a sense of maturity and she inhabits the songs with feel of someone who has experienced life's ups and downs and is comfortable singing about both. Several of the songs are directed at her new husband, producer Kendu Isaacs. The best is "Baggage" where she apologizes for bringing all her emotional drama to the relationship and "Father In You" is superb classic soul where Ms. Blige thanks her husband for the ways he has made up for her absent father. "Good Woman Down" she plays the role of mentor to young woman who went through the troubles she went through. "I Found My Everything" is a straight-up anthem with an exuberant vocal. There are virtually no missteps outside of her cover of U2's "One" which drags on a bit too long."
Mary's VERY Best Work
Musac Critic | 12/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mary J. Blige's THE BREAKTHROUGH is clearly one of Mary's strongest albums EVER. Mary J. Blige becomes extremely personal on this album, much more so than her 2003 effort LOVE & LIFE. While LOVE & LIFE was a good album (though some critics called it one of her weaker efforts), THE BREAKTHROUGH easily trumps LOVE in almost everyway.
First, Mary J. Blige had some slight pitch issues on LOVE & LIFE. Here on THE BREAKTHROUGH, Blige's voice is much better in tune while still keeping the same raw emotion that she has within her powerhouse vocals. In fact, in a growth that has stemmed since Blige's debut album and the emotion she showed on the exceptional "I'm Going Down" (from her second I believe), Blige's vocals have grown more and more emotional with a greater coarseness that provides for a great texture on her recordings. In fact, Blige is one of the few artists that continue to build herself better and better with each substantial recording. Now, with THE BREAKTHROUGH, she has reached the pinnacle.
What is particularly fantastic about THE BREAKTHROUGH is the fact that Blige isn't afraid to admit she has her faults or that she hasn't lived a perfect life. Most of her songs have blatant titles such as "Baggage" or "Take Me as I Am". Even more sweet or real (however you perceive it) is her love songs and "poetry" that is directed towards her husband music producer Kendu, where she has such songs as the exceptional "Can't Get Enough", "I Found My Everything", and arguably, "Father in You". In another exceptional cut, "Good Woman Down", Blige tells the story about her father being abusive to her mother very powerfully. It is themes such as these that make THE BREAKTHROUGH ever more credible.
Not only does THE BREAKTHROUGH stand on its own two feet where topics of interest are concerned, the production is among the best for any R&B album of 2005. On The Jay-Z featured "Can't Hide From Love", a neat sample is used mixed with a deep bass line, well produced drum programming, keyboards, and of course Blige's powerful vocals on top of it all. Furthermore, acoustic piano lines are laced throughout the album on tracks such as excellent first single "Be Without You". Furthermore, some of the risks taking with sampling provide yet another vehicle of excellence to this already exceptional affair. "About You" brings late jazz diva Nina Simone to the mix with a sample of her most famous song "Feeling Good". To make the use of that sample even greater is how Blige wonderfully harmonizes above Nina's low register, smoky vocals. Furthermore, the exceptional "I Found My Everything" sounds so similar to Aretha Franklin's legendary recording of "You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman)" in its overall timbre and soulful feel. In fact, on several occasions, you can clearly hear the influence of Aretha Franklin on Mary J. Blige as Blige very successfully keeps the spirit of soul alive throughout this album.
There is no true filler material on this album, which is shocking for an R&B album. This will definitely be a Grammy Nominee for 2007. This is honestly one of the best R&B albums of 2005, period. Well done Mary. 5 stars.