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The Breakthrough

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Audio CD, December 20, 2005
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Seventeen years after Mary J. Blige’s breakthrough LP, My Life, the wiser R&B queen is back with a sequel: My Life II…The Journey Continues (Act 1). "The first My Life, I didn't understand why I was in so much pain," says Blige. "This one adds another level of understanding." The album’s critically acclaimed first single, “25/8” ... Read more in Amazon's Mary J. Blige Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 20, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Geffen Records
  • ASIN: B000BNTM32
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (365 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,134 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. No One Will Do
2. Enough Cryin
3. About You
4. Be Without You
5. Gonna Breakthrough
6. Good Woman Down
7. Take Me As I Am
8. Baggage
9. Can't Hide From Luv
10. MJB Da MVP
11. Can't Get Enough
12. Ain't Really Love
13. I Found My Everything
14. Father In You
15. Alone
16. One

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Breakthrough features songs produced by Brian Michael Cox, Rodney Jerkins, the Black Eyed Peas' Will I Am, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Dre & Vidal, Johnta Austin, Raphael Saadiq and others. The first single is the smash hit 'Da MVP'. Geffen. 2005.

Nobody knows heartache like Mary J. knows heartache. But as she releases her seventh disc, perhaps more important is that nobody understands better how unquenchable our thirst to hear what it sounds like can be. The Breakthrough, contrary to run-up rumors, is no retrospective or greatest-hits package. Rather than reheat, Blige and producers Dr. Dre, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, and tasked themselves with stirring a river of hurt into some of the highest-caliber hip-hop/soul to hit the airwaves since she burned up the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack with "Not Gon' Cry." Cameos alone could sell this disc: Brook, Jay-Z, Raphael Saadiq, and Bono step up. But it's the trademark ragged-edged soul of its star that shines brightest throughout the 16 tracks. "A love that tears you down ain't really love," a laid-bare Blige reminds us on "Ain't Really Love," after dedicating "Good Woman Down" to "my troubled sisters." Somewhere in between, she leaves absolutely no room for doubt that she just can't be without her baby ("Be Without You"). It's an exhilarating, love-affirming moment on a CD jammed full of them (check out "Can't Get Enough," with its echoes of a pleading Curtis Mayfield). Blige, never far from the thoughts of the lovelorn, didn't need a breakthrough, but anybody with an ear for artful confession will be glad she's given us The Breakthrough anyway. --Tammy La Gorce

Customer Reviews

I can let the whole CD play without skipping a song.
"Good Woman Down" is a song Mary dedicates to the sistahs who loved her My Life album.
Dorrie Wheeler
The Breakthrough is the best album in the career of Mary J. Blige.
Robert G Yokoyama

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Reginald D. Garrard VINE VOICE on December 23, 2005
Format: Audio CD
If there is justice in the universe, Mary J's latest release will definitely introduce her to a much larger audience and bring her a truckload of awards, along with multi-platinum sales. There is, no doubt, that the singer poured all of her considerable vocal and songwriting talents into this most personally revealing and musically satisfying album. Co-writing no less than eleven of the listed sixteen songs (there is a "hidden" bonus cut included at the end of track 16), Blige is a spokesperson for women, as well as a "therapist" that can give good counsel to men as they deal the topsy-turvy relations game.

On an album wherein all the cuts are outstanding, my favorites include "Enough Cryin'", a triumph of writing, Blige's trademark forceful vocal performance, brilliant orchestral arrangement, and extraordinary background accompaniment; "About You," featuring and legendary Nina Simone, is another brilliantly orchestrated track; the poetic "Be Without You"; "Good Woman," a thought-provoking and toe-tapping message to the young sistahs; and the double-threat of "Take Me as I Am" and "Baggage".

"MJB Da MVP" chronicles Blige's triumphant fourteen-year (and counting) career, expressing the singer's highs and lows, as well as her appreciation of her fans.

There are not enough superlatives that can be heaped upon "Ain't Really Love." This is the kind of song that Aretha could've done in her prime and, obviously, the "Queen's" scepter has been passed to Mary.

The gospel-influenced "I Found My Everything," co-written by featured vocalist Raphael Saadig, has a Prince-thing about it, musically and lyrically.

"Father in You" is sheer perfection in more ways than one as a tribute to fathers and strong men.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By P Magnum HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 23, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The Breakthrough is possibly the best album of Mary J. Blige's great career. Ms. Blige's singing has gained a sense of maturity and she inhabits the songs with feel of someone who has experienced life's ups and downs and is comfortable singing about both. Several of the songs are directed at her new husband, producer Kendu Isaacs. The best is "Baggage" where she apologizes for bringing all her emotional drama to the relationship and "Father In You" is superb classic soul where Ms. Blige thanks her husband for the ways he has made up for her absent father. "Good Woman Down" she plays the role of mentor to young woman who went through the troubles she went through. "I Found My Everything" is a straight-up anthem with an exuberant vocal. There are virtually no missteps outside of her cover of U2's "One" which drags on a bit too long.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Michael Brent Faulkner, Jr. VINE VOICE on December 20, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Mary J. Blige's THE BREAKTHROUGH is clearly one of Mary's strongest albums EVER. Mary J. Blige becomes extremely personal on this album, much more so than her 2003 effort LOVE & LIFE. While LOVE & LIFE was a good album (though some critics called it one of her weaker efforts), THE BREAKTHROUGH easily trumps LOVE in almost everyway.

First, Mary J. Blige had some slight pitch issues on LOVE & LIFE. Here on THE BREAKTHROUGH, Blige's voice is much better in tune while still keeping the same raw emotion that she has within her powerhouse vocals. In fact, in a growth that has stemmed since Blige's debut album and the emotion she showed on the exceptional "I'm Going Down" (from her second I believe), Blige's vocals have grown more and more emotional with a greater coarseness that provides for a great texture on her recordings. In fact, Blige is one of the few artists that continue to build herself better and better with each substantial recording. Now, with THE BREAKTHROUGH, she has reached the pinnacle.

What is particularly fantastic about THE BREAKTHROUGH is the fact that Blige isn't afraid to admit she has her faults or that she hasn't lived a perfect life. Most of her songs have blatant titles such as "Baggage" or "Take Me as I Am". Even more sweet or real (however you perceive it) is her love songs and "poetry" that is directed towards her husband music producer Kendu, where she has such songs as the exceptional "Can't Get Enough", "I Found My Everything", and arguably, "Father in You". In another exceptional cut, "Good Woman Down", Blige tells the story about her father being abusive to her mother very powerfully. It is themes such as these that make THE BREAKTHROUGH ever more credible.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Robert G Yokoyama VINE VOICE on February 14, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I love the music of Mary J. Blige. My favorite track on this album is Take Me As I Am. This is an excellent song about self acceptance and loving yourself. This is a very inspirational song for anyone who is struggling in life. No One Will Do is a standout track. This is a song about the love Mary has for her husband. Another highlight on this CD is MJB Da MVP. This song is about the ups and downs of Mary's life and career in the music business. It is a great dance track. Be Without You is another gem on this album. This is a heart wrenching hit song about missing a loved one. One is a very strong track too. Bono and Mary sound great singing together. Mary gives this classic U2 song a special touch with her soulful voice. The songs on this CD are very personal. The Breakthrough is the best album in the career of Mary J. Blige.
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just heard a MJB's One without U2 Bono? Is it possible?
its on the breakthrough album by mary j blige.
Oct 27, 2009 by Amazon Customer |  See all 3 posts
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