Undisputed Queen of Hip Hop Soul and three-time Grammy winner Mary J Blige releases her highly anticipated brand new studio album, The Breakthrough
. Eight albums and thirteen years since What's The 411
heralded the arrival of a voice to stand alongside the greats of soul music, The Breakthrough
delivers Mary's trademark combination of raw power, serenity, conviction and compassion. The songs on The Breakthrough
are evidence of Mary's journey from her childhood in the projects of Yonkers, New York, to her early successes plagued with drama, to her current breakthrough. The album takes the listener on a journey through its 14 tracks including an inspiring duet with Bono on U2's "One"; "MJB Da MVP" with Mary's vocal over The Game's "Hate it Or Love It"; and "Can't Hide From Love" with Jay-Z. Mary is well known for her innovative studio productions with a veritable who's-who of musical talents from Sting and Eric Clapton to Aretha Franklin to Method Man, Nas and Jay-Z. On The Breakthrough
, Mary continues to work with a hot-list of producers including Bryan-Michael, Cox, Rodney Jerkins, the Black Eyed Peas' Will I Am, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Dre & Vidal, Raphael Saadiq and more.
Mary J Blige may be in a happier space with her seventh album The Breakthrough, but it marks her as a grown woman who's allowed matrimony and Oprah to dull her creative shine.
It's a good thing the production is of such ahigh quality. The 9th Wonder produced "Good Woman Down" and "Can't Hide From Luv" (featuring Jay-Z) are the highlights. And her cover of The Games' "Hate it or Love It" will no doubt please fans of her younger, more edgy output.
Otherwise, The Breakthrough is begging for some of the finger-clicking attitude that we used to expect from the one time queen of ghetto fab. --Matilda Egere-Cooper
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