Mary J. Blige Stronger with Each Tear
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- Released: December 21, 2009
- Label: Geffen Records
Rolling Stone - pp.55-563.5 stars out of 5 -- "Blige's experiment works in the context of her album....In the fantastic Stargate/Ne-Yo jam 'I Feel Good,' she flashes the robot-voice ostinatos like a new pair of stilettos."
Entertainment Weekly - p.71"There's so much feel-goodness, you might long for the drama of yore. Luckily, she brings it on the bouncy piano groove 'Kitchen'..." -- Grade: B
Billboard (p.32) - "Blige has never been in better voice -- or more adventurous. The metaphor-rich 'Kitchen' finds the singer/songwriter admonishing would-be man-stealers."
- 2.The One
- 3.Said and Done
- 4.Good Love
- 5.I Feel Good
- 6.I Am
- 7.Each Tear
- 8.I Love U (Yes I Du)
- 9.Hood Love
- 11.In The Morning
- 12.I Can See In Color
Audio Mixers: Jaycen Joshua; Dave Pensado; Peter Mokran; Phil Tan.
Recording information: 2nd Floor Studios; Germano Studios, New York, NY; Roc The Mic Studios, New York, NY; Silent Sound Studios, Atlanta, GA; The Boom Boom Room, Burbank, CA; The Record Plant, Los Angeles, CA; Triangle Sound Studios, Atlanta, GA; Zac Digital, Atlanta, GA.
Photographer: Anthony Mandler.
Stronger with Each Tear's first four songs are decorated like NASCAR vehicles, with IDs from the Runners and Akon, Rodney Jerkins, Ryan Leslie, Stereotypes, and T.I. all heard before the voice of Mary J. Blige enters the mix. Sound logos and gratuitous self-serving plugs from producers and guest MCs are nothing new in mainstream R&B, but when an album by Mary J. Blige is dominated by them, in such an extended succession, a longtime follower's minor irritation has the potential to turn to low-level rage. And while it is also understandable that the appearance of 2009 breakout star Drake on "The One" will help boost sales, the disparity is glaring; the MC was five years old when What's the 411? was released. Trey Songz, featured on another track, wasn't much older. Even when factoring these matters, Stronger with Each Tear is a very good Blige album, if not a classic. One of her briefest sets, it is tremendously (almost studiously) balanced between all the ground she has covered so well before. That's no criticism, though, since most of the songs are easily memorable and display so much range. Those who detest "The One" on principle, for its use of Auto-Tune, need only to forward to the album's final song, a quiet and sparse throwback (to 40-plus years ago) production from Raphael Saadiq in which Blige professes new love to chilling effect. ~ Andy Kellman
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