Mary J. Blige Growing Pains
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- Released: December 18, 2007
- Originally Released: 2007
- Label: Geffen Records
Rolling Stone - p.1293.5 stars out of 4 -- "[The] songs have the stuff to fight back.....[Certain] tracks remind us how tough this sweet-voiced diva can be..."
Rolling Stone - p.113Included in Rolling Stone's "50 Top Albums of the Year 2007" -- "[T]he songwriting is her finest in years."
Entertainment Weekly - p.55"She shines on the buttery bedroom groove of the Neptunes-produced 'Til the Morning'..." -- Grade: B
- 1.Work That
- 2.Grown Woman
- 3.Just Fine
- 4.Feel Like a Woman
- 5.Stay Down
- 6.Talk to Me
- 7.Shake Down
- 8.Till the Morning
- 9.Nowhere Fast
- 11.Fade Away
- 12.What Is Love
- 13.Work in Progress (Growing Pains)
- 14.Hurt Again
- 16.Come to Me (Peace)
It's no accident that Mary J. Blige is an icon on the urban contemporary scene, in large part because each new album--and 2007's GROWING PAINS is her eighth--finds her more self-assured as a singer, a lyricist, and a person. Like 2005's THE BREAKTHROUGH, GROWING PAINS delivers a mature Mary J., one who's faced down her demons and emerged triumphant. The tough-as-nails, confessional nature of her work is still what gives it its distinctive stamp, but Blige's sonic palette continues to grow as well.
From the heavily hip-hop-tinged "Work That," to the 1980s-sounding pop of "Fade Away," to the swirling balladry of "Work In Progress (Growing Pains)," the album isn't afraid to hop genres. Blige's work has always had a wide appeal, but GROWING PAINS has tracks that move from the club to the bedroom to adult alternative radio while still sounding 100% the artist's own. Help from the likes of Ne-Yo, the Neptunes, Ludacris, Usher, and Jazze Pha, among others, gives the set star-quality, but this is Blige's show: her voice, her style, and her sense of personal conviction shine through loud and clear.
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