The Breakthrough

The Breakthrough

by Mary J. BligeMary J. Blige

CD(Australian Import)

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At the end of 2005, Mary J. Blige's career was supposed to be anthologized. The singer had her way, however, and one of her best studio albums came out instead. In retrospect, her previous album, 2003's Love & Life, was awkward; the P. Diddy collaborations, likely intended to recapture the magic the duo put together on What's the 411? and My Life, didn't always pay off, and Blige was about to become a wife, so the songs steeped in heartbreak and disappointment weren't delivered with as much power as they had been in the past. The Breakthrough also contains some of the drama that fans expect, despite Blige's continued happiness, but it's clear that she has gained enough distance from the uglier parts of her past that she can inhabit them and, once again, deliver those songs. The past does play a significant role in the album, as in "Baggage," where she apologies to her husband for bringing it into their relationship. "Father in You" sounds like a note-perfect facsimile of a classic soul ballad, rising and falling and twisting with a sensitive string arrangement, but the lyrics are pure Blige, acknowledging the ways in which her husband has made up for the absence of her father. On the nearly anthemic "Good Woman Down," she sees a less matured version of herself in young women and uses her experiences to advise. She jacks the beat from the Game's "Hate It or Love It" for "MJB da MVP," where she reflects on her career, thanks her supporters, and reasserts her rightful position as the soul hip-hop queen. It's one of several tracks to beam with a kind of contentment and confidence that Blige has never before possessed. Take "Can't Hide from Love," where she's such a force that Jay-Z dishes out a quick introduction and knows to stay out of the way for the remainder of the track, or the glorious "I Found My Everything," her "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman." Beat for beat, the album features the best round of productions Blige has been handed since the mid-'90s. Apart from only a couple lukewarm tracks and a poorly recorded version of "One" with U2, it is completely correct. [Universal's 2006 import edition includes one bonus track.]

Product Details

Release Date: 12/20/2005
Label: Imports
UPC: 0602498796870
catalogNumber: 790843
Rank: 44763

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Mary J. Blige   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

Freddie Jackson   Composer
Patrice Rushen   Composer
Roy Ayers   Composer
Bunny Sigler   Composer
Edge   Composer
Robert Aries   Composer
Mary J. Blige   Composer
Bono   Composer
Leslie Bricusse   Composer
Adam Clayton   Composer
Allan Felder   Composer
Norman Harris   Composer
Terry Lewis   Composer
Larry Mullen   Composer
Anthony Newley   Composer
Ryan Toby   Composer
Rodney Jerkins   Composer
Raphael Saadiq   Composer
Kelvin Wooten   Composer
Andre Harris   Composer
Shawn Carter   Composer
Karen Evans   Composer
Johnta Austin   Composer
Vidal Davis   Composer
Bryan-Michael Cox   Composer
Curtis Jackson   Composer
Candice Childress   Composer
Teedra Moses   Composer
Keri Hilson   Composer
Robert Ozuna   Composer
Sean Garrett   Composer
Candice Nelson   Composer
Jayceon Taylor   Composer

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