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The Breakthrough

Mary J. BligeAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (361 customer reviews)

Price: $8.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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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 (361 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,720 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

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

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
94 of 107 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An aptly-titled tour de force! 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
4.0 out of 5 stars Break On Through 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Mary's VERY Best Work 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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
The Queen of Hip-Hop/Soul helped close 2005 by releasing her seventh studio album, The Breakthrough-arguably her best work. At a point in her life where she has experienced many of life's joys and dramas, Mary J. Blige is intelligent and shares this knowledge on her beautiful Breakthrough.

Debuting on the Billboard 200 Album chart at No. 1 with 727,136 units sold, the now-platinum Breakthrough ranks with the highest first-week sales by a female R&B artist in Billboard history.

On The Breakthrough, Blige delivers a message; that is, anything in life is possible. From growing up in the tough streets of Yonkers, NY to abusing drugs, Blige has blossomed into a talented, strong-willed woman and musical icon. The Breakthrough's leading single, "Be Without You," explores the ups and the downs between man and woman in a relationship. In the song, Blige continues to work at keeping her relationship together. It is evident that this song is personal to Blige; as a recently married woman, she faces situations like these-it is one of those things couples decide to cope with when committed. "Be Without You" has reached No. 1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart and has broke into the top ten on the Hot 100 Singles chart. The music video for the song has also reached No.1 on BET's 106th and Park video countdown and features Hustle & Flow star Terrence Howard.

The set of 16 tremendous tracks opens with a bang-"No One Will Do," where Blige pays homage to husband and record producer Kendu Isaacs. Guest appearances on The Breakthrough include Jay-Z, U2 and the Black Eyed Peas' Will.I.Am, while productions by Rodney Jerkins (Destiny's Child, Brandy), Raphael Saadiq (Teedra Moses, Tony! Toni! Ton?!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Mary is my girl
Published 11 days ago by carlin burford
5.0 out of 5 stars the breakthough Mary J.Blige
recieved earlier than expected,All of the MJ cd's i have recently purchased is an anniversary gift to my sister in law,She loves this artist,And boy will she be surprised when she... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Bernedine
5.0 out of 5 stars No one else, will do
I have been a Mary J Blige fan since What's the 411. Her voice isn't perfect but it conveys feeling like no one else. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Olukayode Adeogun
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable Mary J!
This album is awesome and it's nice to have it on vinyl!!! Who would have though the BIG disc would make a comeback!!! I had to add this awesome album to my collection! Read more
Published 6 months ago by ThatGirlT
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT ABLBUM
Great Album By Mary J. Blidge. This is the second Album Of Hers I Purchased, and another Album Where All Songs On It Are Hits. This Shows The True Talent Of A Musical Artist. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Agron Berishaj
3.0 out of 5 stars The Breakthrough
MJB continues to bring the goods on this album. Good songs with passion & emotion that me you feel her message.
Published 8 months ago by Patrick Small
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Mary's best
Mary J Blige is a soulful singer with great lyrics. I really love this cd, it adds lots to my Blige collection. Highly recommended.
Published 9 months ago by T-
4.0 out of 5 stars Musical Growth
If you like Mary J. Blige you'll like this album. It shows her growth musically and personally. She is always transparent in her music, but this album shows exactly how she... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
A great album by a great woman. In this album, not only is MJB embracing her new life filled with less drama and more happiness, she also, in her own way, encourages the women to... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Flipp
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
I am a big Mary J fan and this album really shows her growth as an artist and as a woman.
Published 12 months ago by Xavier Marquis Gelsey
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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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