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Growing Pains


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Audio CD, December 18, 2007
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Growing Pains + The Breakthrough + Share My World
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2007 album from the six-time Grammy Award winning R&B diva with production by Timbaland (Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado), Stargate (Ne-Yo, Rihanna, Beyonce), Jazze Pha (Ciara, Ludacris, T.I., Lil' Wayne), Tricky Stewart (J. Holiday, Tyrese) and others. Songs written by Mary J Blige, Ne-Yo, Sean Garrett (Usher, Ciara, Chris Brown) and The Dream (Sting, Rihanna, Featuring the first single 'Just Fine'

Amazon.com

"I'm talkin' 'bout things I know," Mary J. Blige wails on "Work That," the second single and opening track of Growing Pains. The album squeaked into 2007 too late to make best-of lists but otherwise would have stormed its way up several, for sure. She needn't have hit us with such a pronouncement: In 16 songs that ring as remarkably, unflinchingly true as those on 2005's landmark The Breakthrough, the queen of hip-hop soul keeps "keeping it real" a specialty. There's no sense in trying to assign credit for the skin-tight grooves and funked-up retro vibe here; with nine producers padding Blige's emotion-rich voice and the lyrics she so obviously lives by, what we're left with is a melange of sounds. But it's a measure of an artist who has mastered her own identity and left nothing to chance that this, her eighth studio album, comes off so free of wild cards and loose edges. "You ask what love feels like," she sings on "What Love Is," one of the disc's less fierce tracks. "It feels like joy, and it feels like pain, and it feels like sunshine, and it feels like rain," she continues, answering the question. The album feels the same way, a passel of complex feelings all wrapped up in love. No one knows struggle, heartache, and triumph over mediocrity like Blige. --Tammy La Gorce

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Work That 3:30$1.29  Buy MP3 
  2. Grown Woman [feat. Ludacris] 4:05$1.29  Buy MP3 
  3. Just Fine 4:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Feel Like A Woman 4:02$1.29  Buy MP3 
  5. Stay Down 4:22$1.29  Buy MP3 
  6. Hurt Again 4:07$1.29  Buy MP3 
  7. Shake Down [feat. Usher] 3:36$1.29  Buy MP3 
  8. Till The Morning 4:17$1.29  Buy MP3 
  9. Roses 4:35$1.29  Buy MP3 
10. Fade Away 4:15$1.29  Buy MP3 
11. What Love Is 4:03$1.29  Buy MP3 
12. Work In Progress (Growing Pains) 4:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
13. Talk To Me 4:09$1.29  Buy MP3 
14. If You Love Me? 3:39$1.29  Buy MP3 
15. Smoke 3:10$1.29  Buy MP3 
16. Come To Me (Peace) 5:01$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 18, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Geffen
  • ASIN: B000X3VN5U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (188 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,774 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Olukayode Balogun on April 26, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I'm a huge fan of Mary J. Blige. I've been a fan more or less from the moment What's the 411? dropped back in '92. I've bought every single album she released since, including the live and remix albums but excluding 2003's Love & Life, right up to The Breakthrough. I didn't get Reflections - A Retrospective but that was because I just didn't see the point (I had practically everything on it already) and not because I didn't like it.

But I seem to be the only one on the planet who just can't get into this one. I simply don't get it. Mary has been selling millions of albums across the world for 16 years now and that could explain why, to these ears, she's beginning to sound a bit weary. She's been telling us all how she's incredibly happy now, how her life is exactly where she wants it to be and how, whilst going through all the pain in her recent past, one thing she's always strived to do is keep things real with her fans. This might all well be true but I'm yet to see Mary actually LOOKING happy in an interview or a video. (Jill Scott always looks happy for instance, even these days - and she's just been through a divorce!).

But maybe that's just Mary's way. Maybe it's the 'street' or 'ghetto fabulous' thing to; to never smile even if feeling blissful. Her continuous banging on about said bliss is starting to grate on the nerves a tad though.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Highsmith on January 16, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I instantly became a fan of Mary J. Blige once I heard the song "You Remind Me". Her debut CD What's the 411? was an instant favorite of mine because of the way that Mary mixed r&b songs with hip hop samples. Obviously, the direction of the production had something to do with that but since I am also a rap music fan, I was able to appreciate Mary J. Blige even more. My favorite tracks ended up being "Love No Limit", "Reminisce", "I Don't Want To Do Anything" w/K-Ci, "My Love", "Real Love" and Mary's remake of the Rufus & Chaka Khan classic "Sweet Thing". In 1994, Mary J. Blige released her 2nd CD My Life. This is clearly my favorite r&b CD of all time. Mary not only surpassed my expectations after her debut CD, but she definitely had gained a fan for life as she did her best to chronicle the good times, the pain and everything inbetween to put together a fantastic CD. My favorite track was "I Never Wanna Live Without You" but I could play the CD in its entirety. My other personal favorites include "Mary's Joint", "I'm The Only Woman", "Be Happy", "Mary Jane" and "Be With You". The alternate versions of the tracks were phenominal as well. I am sure everyone remembers Smif N Wessun on "I Love You", LL Cool J on "Mary Jane", and the late Notorious BIG (Biggie) ripping the "I'm Goin' Down" (Remix)) which used the beat for the track "The What" that was featured on Biggie's "Ready To Die" that also included Method Man. Mary J had plenty of other releases:

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By !hype 2015 on December 24, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Most people love "What's The 411" and "My Life" and they think they are totally classic, and then there's "The Breakthrough" which is a 5 star effort in itself - but here Mary J. Blige surpasses everything she has done - the cut SHAKE DOWN with Usher is so commercial it's sickening which is GREAT it's like the sweetest candy you could ever want - but don't think for a minute she's sold out. NO NO NO - this CD is so deep, so heartfelt, so BLACK, so true, so much full of emotion. Mary J. Blige I think this is her "THRILLER" - this CD is phenomenal from start to finish. Even if you've never heard of her before - you will be infected with these songs - they stay in your mind, soul and heart. This CD is ABSOLUTELY STUNNING - her best effort yet, and how do you surpass "My Life" - she has done it - you will be TOTALLY REWARDED WITH THIS PURCHASE - look out for Mary in 2008 and 2009 - SHE TRULY IS THE UNDISPUTED "QUEEN OF HIP-HOP SOUL" Girl you GO GO GO GO GO!!! Man O Man, Mariah you know you're my heart, and Rickie Lee you are my favorite - but she even revamps some old Emotions samples - THIS CD IS BEYOND BEYOND. Just listen, GUARANTEED!!! Thank you ET for my favorite gift this Christmas. God is alive - Listen to Mary - you'll be a witness!!! It's THAT UNBELIEVABLE - miraculous. Anyone who rated this CD less than 5 stars has not listened to it more than twice, this CD rewards the listener with repeated listens and you see how brilliant this CD is. It's really A NON STOP PARTY. Keep playing this at your Christmas or New Years Party's - you'll see - this grows on your without ANY PAIN. MARY J BLIGE - much respect. This is one of the best CD's I've ever heard - period. Trust me, listen to it a few times - you'll start becoming infected with her "Growing Pains".Read more ›
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Topic From this Discussion
Mary Sales
Congrats to Mary! Also, to Alicia Keys, who continues to move stunning amounts of units every week. I'm proud of them both.
Dec 30, 2007 by W. E. Phillips |  See all 4 posts
Why was it pushed back??
To get extra $ from the holiday shoppers like she did with the Breakthrough two years ago. Also, "Just Fine" isn't doing as well as expected.
Nov 15, 2007 by W. E. Phillips |  See all 8 posts
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