Monday, January 4, 2010

Mary J. Blige: Stronger With Each Tear

Posted By on Mon, Jan 4, 2010 at 2:00 PM

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Every new Mariah Carey, Keyshia Cole and Whitney Houston album comes with tabloid stories and television specials, but Mary J. Blige just keeps churning out quality, genre-defining R&B with ease. Well, maybe it's not so easy. As the title of her ninth (!) album Stronger With Each Tear hints, it's emotionally draining to pour her emotions into these songs, which deal with love and its accompanying pain and strife. But Blige's gusto is a big part of her appeal. She's not saying anything you haven't heard before (does anyone in contemporary R&B?), but she has an impeccable ear for rock-solid, anthemic production, and her chiseled, muscular vocals convey strength and vulnerability in equal measure. "I feel good," she sings on "I Feel Good," "like the moon is shining just for me." As with Blige's other works, Tear is not deep, but it resonates. (Geffen) 4 out of 5 stars.

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