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34 Reviews
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Class!!!
Every single time Mary releases new material it just keeps getting better and better! This album contains everything that's become associated with her. There's non-stop positivity, talking through her (and your) struggles, yet there's an air of assured maturity now where you explicitly trust in her wisdom. Her voice has never sounded better, as the new...
Published on 15 Dec. 2005 by I. Greaves

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Full of Fillers
Mary J Blige had been growing on me in recent years based on her previous hit singles and so I eagerly rushed to buy this CD, my first MJB album, when it was initially released. But what a let down!

To my mind there are only three good songs on it - the three singles. Debut single "Be Without You" (UK no. 32) really underperformed for such a classy piece of...
Published on 3 Jan. 2008 by Seamus Martin


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Class!!!, 15 Dec. 2005
By 
I. Greaves "greavesi" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Breakthrough (Audio CD)
Every single time Mary releases new material it just keeps getting better and better! This album contains everything that's become associated with her. There's non-stop positivity, talking through her (and your) struggles, yet there's an air of assured maturity now where you explicitly trust in her wisdom. Her voice has never sounded better, as the new single "Be Without You" demonstrates. However, that's merely a taster. If you have never enjoyed a Mary J Blige song before, once you listen to her take on U2's "One" you'll be forever converted. This has to be a single, it would definitely be the commercial success that often Mary misses out on. There's not one bad moment on the album, although there are obvious stronger songs. My personal highlights are "No one will do", "Enough Cryin'", "Be Without You", "Good Woman Down", "Can't Hide From Luv", "Ain't Really Love" and the amazing duet with Dave Young "Alone". Alongside other growers, the unbelievable version of "One", her makeover of the Game's "Hate it Or Love It" (MJB Da MVP) and the Kelis-esque bonus track "Show Love" this album is one of the best ever soul-hip-hop albums to be made. A must buy.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album from our R'N'B diva, 19 April 2006
By 
Craig J. Richardson (birchington kent u.k) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Breakthrough (Audio CD)
This album takes some time to get used to, but i was drawn to the album from the first song "BE WITHOUT YOU" and then i heard the new song with u2 "ONE" you can see why it was called the breakthrough as the album sort of reads about mary j bliges life, now that i have heard the album in full it is truly a brilliant peice of work and is quite diffrent from what mary normally does.

a brilliant album with some excellent smooth grooves and stomping beats, perfect for any party!

9 out of 10
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't keep a good woman down, 13 Mar. 2006
By 
M. C. Slade "BathRugby" (Bath, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Breakthrough (Audio CD)
I'm extremely excited about this album from Mary-Jane. She draws upon a lifetime of experiences as inspiration, and boy does she come out of it with great credit for a job extremely well done.
Whether you're (like me) an eighties soul boy or girl, or if you're a contemporary RNB kid you'll love this equally, for there's enough pure soul and modern RNB to keep both camps happy, as well as the casual punter.
Like a great wine always seems to remind me of summer fruits- strawberries, cherries or raspberries, this album makes me think of MJB's likely influences as diverse as Teddy Pendergrass, Chaka Khan, The Mary Jane Girls (surely not the one and the same?), Alex O'Neal, Luther, Cherelle, and even Diana Ross.
I'm not going to give a track-by-track review, but my personal favourites are opening track 'No-one will do', the MJB classically-styled 'Be without you', the soulful hip-hop 'Gonna breakthrough', and the early 80s-reminiscent 'Baggage', but my two favourites are the wonderful 'Good woman down' and the amazing 'ONE' sang in duet with U2.
This album makes me want to drive out into the city at dusk and just cruise the city streets with my CD up LOUD! It's a classic soul album and it's contemporary enough to be a hit with the CD-buying public- the kids.
You really can't keep a good woman down it seems!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mary just broke through, 29 Nov. 2006
This review is from: The Breakthrough (Audio CD)
What a great album. I have bought the previous 2 outputs from Mary and this is by far the best - for me, the reason being that there are no fillers or weak songs. The first time I listened through, I kept waiting for a poor song and it never came.

The first four songs (including Be Without You) are stand-out, as are MJB da MVP and One.

Thoroughly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars wow, 4 Feb. 2006
This review is from: The Breakthrough (Audio CD)
I was getting a bit bored of Mary J Blige,not her voice but the last couple of albums had been mediocre,especially the last one which was produced by p. diddy,aside from a couple of tracks that album was largely bland..i had given up hope of Mary ever returning to her game..even 1st single"Be Without you" from the new LP isnt that inspiring,so i nearly didnt get "The Breakthrough"..well all i can say is WOW GLAD I DID !! MARY IS BACK..SLAMMIN!! This is her 2nd best album easily..her best to me is still "Whats the 411" her debut,but this follows second..theres hardly a duff track on the whole album..only "Be Without You" and "Enough Cryin" stop this album from being a masterpiece. Best track is easily the 9th wonder produced "Good woman down"..9th wonder continues to prove why he is one of the most underatted producers around. Please get this album..THIS IS THE BEST RNB ALBUM OF 2005.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MJB's best yet, 31 Dec. 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Breakthrough (Audio CD)
I am a huge fan of Mary J. Blige, and have all her albums. This is the only one I would give 5 stars to though, as previous albums have phenomenally amazing songs but overall her albums don't tend to be that great, in my opinion.

However, with The Breakthrough, she really lives up to her "Queen of Hip-hop and Soul" status, delivering probably the second-best album of the year after Mariah Carey's The Emancipation of Mimi.

Standout tracks are definitely "Be Without You," "MJB Da MVP" and "One" with U2, which is just amazing.

Certainly any MJB fan would love this record, but I think it's really a must-have for any R&B/hip-hop/soul fan too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Full of Fillers, 3 Jan. 2008
By 
Seamus Martin (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Breakthrough (Audio CD)
Mary J Blige had been growing on me in recent years based on her previous hit singles and so I eagerly rushed to buy this CD, my first MJB album, when it was initially released. But what a let down!

To my mind there are only three good songs on it - the three singles. Debut single "Be Without You" (UK no. 32) really underperformed for such a classy piece of soul. The third release and stand-out track of the album, the up-tempo song "MJB da MVP", only managed to reach no. 33. Only "One", the U2 cover performed as a duet with Bono managed a respectable showing at no. 2. Although this track benefited from song recognition and a big name duetting partner, it was neither as good as the original nor a patch on the other two singles.

Meanwhile the rest of the album was pretty much dross - bland fillers that could have been from any one of half a dozen RnB singers merely padding out the rest of the album.

This album may appeal to the dedicated MJB or RnB fan, but I cannot recommend it to the more casual buyer. On the other hand, Mary J Blige's new album for 2008, "Growing Pains" is a huge improvement on this effort. And for a safe bet I can also happily recommend her 2006 best-of, "Reflections: a Retrospective: the Greatest Hits".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mary does it again., 8 Feb. 2006
By 
DesRobinson (London, England United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Breakthrough (Audio CD)
On the whole a most enjoyable album. Mostly entertaining, funky and soulful.
There were a couple of track I thought dragged on but that's because I prefer uptempo joints rather than ballads.
Even though MJB put her heart into this album I didn't feel it as much as in 'No More Drama'
The first 3 track could easily be released as singles, as track 4 - 'Be without you' is already out there and doing well. The track with Bono is mildly rocky but not as gritty as I expected.
A good buy. Go buy.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 30 Mar. 2006
This review is from: The Breakthrough (Audio CD)
This album is absolutely brilliant; I've liked a few of MJB's songs - especially Family Affair - but had never owned an album and decided to buy this based on the addictive lead single 'Be Without You'. As with many hip-hop/R&B/Soul female albums, the list of tracks is very long at a whopping 20 tracks! However, many suffer a couple of great tracks and an album-full of fillers - this is most certainly an exception to that rule.
5stars-
Be Without you (Soft ballod) MJB da MVP (slick interpretation of a 50 cent/Game song) Baggage (best on album - superb lyrics and tune) and One ft.U2. This is an interpretation of the U2 song dubbed their best by critics, and she does it justice like you wouldn't believe! She is soulful, tuneful and a joy to listen to. Also 'Good Woman Down', loud fast and uplifting.
Other good tracks-
Can't Hide from love, gonna breakthrough, so lady, can't get enough, aint really love(again lyrics to listen out for) I found my everything, show love and no-one will do, and excellent album-opener.
Average-3stars-
Father in you, alone, enough cryin, about you
All in all a brilliant album you need to buy, even if, as i was, you are new to MJB or any real R&B/soul music. Great value for a tenner!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent album-wow, 3 Oct. 2006
By 
Breathe Music (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Breakthrough (Audio CD)
This album is lovely, its mature, yet appeals to all ages. Mary knows how to make a slick, well produced album with meaningful lyrics that show her feelings and identify with the listener.(beyonce take note) The tracks are very well produced, never boring or repetitive, and her singing is just great. All in all this is an album you can listen to all day without becoming bored and i really do reccomend it.
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The Breakthrough by Mary J. Blige (Audio CD - 2005)
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