The Breakthrough

( 43 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Tracy E. Hopkins
On her seventh studio album, The Breakthrough, long-suffering queen of hip-hop soul Mary J. Blige sounds more confident and comfortable with her material than she did on 2003's uneven Love & Life. Although Blige has been saying for a while now that she wants no more drama, the recently wed New York native finally sounds convinced. From the jubilant opening track, "No One Will Do," to the melodic lead single, "Be Without You," Blige revels in the unconditional love that her husband has brought to her life. And clearly she's found a good man -- one who is patient enough to deal with his lady's difficult past, which she addresses on the plaintive "Baggage." Despite...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Tracy E. Hopkins
On her seventh studio album, The Breakthrough, long-suffering queen of hip-hop soul Mary J. Blige sounds more confident and comfortable with her material than she did on 2003's uneven Love & Life. Although Blige has been saying for a while now that she wants no more drama, the recently wed New York native finally sounds convinced. From the jubilant opening track, "No One Will Do," to the melodic lead single, "Be Without You," Blige revels in the unconditional love that her husband has brought to her life. And clearly she's found a good man -- one who is patient enough to deal with his lady's difficult past, which she addresses on the plaintive "Baggage." Despite that song's repentant theme and the requisite "dump that zero and find yourself a hero" track "Ain't Really Love", the otherwise celebratory Breakthrough contains some of Blige's best music in years. Instant classics include the grown-and-sexy, Jay-Z-assisted "Can't Hide from Luv," the bluesy "I Found My Everything" featuring Raphael Saadiq, and the nostalgic "MJB Da MVP," where Blige sings snippets of her greatest hits over the same vintage soul groove as the Game/50 Cent single "Hate It or Love It." Indeed, with her triumphant Breakthrough, Mary proves she's no longer buggin' and emerges -- once again -- as contemporary R&B's MVP.
All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
At the end of 2005, Mary J. Blige's career was supposed to be anthologized. The singer had her way, however, and one of her best studio albums came out instead. In retrospect, her previous album, 2003's Love & Life, was awkward; the P. Diddy collaborations, likely intended to recapture the magic the duo put together on What's the 411? and My Life, didn't always pay off, and Blige was about to become a wife, so the songs steeped in heartbreak and disappointment weren't delivered with as much power as they had been in the past. The Breakthrough also contains some of the drama that fans expect, despite Blige's continued happiness, but it's clear that she has gained enough distance from the uglier parts of her past that she can inhabit them and, once again, deliver those songs. The past does play a significant role in the album, as in "Baggage," where she apologies to her husband for bringing it into their relationship. "Father in You" sounds like a note-perfect facsimile of a classic soul ballad, rising and falling and twisting with a sensitive string arrangement, but the lyrics are pure Blige, acknowledging the ways in which her husband has made up for the absence of her father. On the nearly anthemic "Good Woman Down," she sees a less matured version of herself in young women and uses her experiences to advise. She jacks the beat from the Game's "Hate It or Love It" for "MJB da MVP," where she reflects on her career, thanks her supporters, and reasserts her rightful position as the soul hip-hop queen. It's one of several tracks to beam with a kind of contentment and confidence that Blige has never before possessed. Take "Can't Hide from Love," where she's such a force that Jay-Z dishes out a quick introduction and knows to stay out of the way for the remainder of the track, or the glorious "I Found My Everything," her "You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman." Beat for beat, the album features the best round of productions Blige has been handed since the mid-'90s. Apart from only a couple lukewarm tracks and a poorly recorded version of "One" with U2, it is completely correct.
Rolling Stone - Barry Walters
An empathetic supporting cast revitalizes the hip-hop soul queen on this seventeen-track set of particularly classy material.

An empathetic supporting cast revitalizes the hip-hop soul queen on this seventeen-track set of particularly classy material.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/20/2005
  • Label: Geffen Records
  • UPC: 602498871102
  • Catalog Number: 000572202
  • Sales rank: 33,494

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 No One Will Do (4:46)
  2. 2 Enough Cryin - Brook Lynn (4:20)
  3. 3 About You - will.i.am (4:04)
  4. 4 Be Without You (4:06)
  5. 5 Gonna Breakthrough - Brook Lynn (4:00)
  6. 6 Good Woman Down (4:07)
  7. 7 Take Me as I Am (3:57)
  8. 8 Baggage (3:35)
  9. 9 Can't Hide from Luv - Jay-Z (3:52)
  10. 10 MJB Da MVP (4:11)
  11. 11 Can't Get Enough (3:40)
  12. 12 Ain't Really Love (4:39)
  13. 13 I Found My Everything - Raphael Saadiq (5:23)
  14. 14 Father in You (5:23)
  15. 15 Alone - Dave Young (4:29)
  16. 16 One (8:18)
Read More Show Less

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Mary J. Blige Primary Artist, Vocals
Bruce Dukov Violin
Bobby Ross Avila Guitar, Strings, Keyboards
Sid Page Violin, String Instrument
The Edge Guitar
Robert Bacon Guitar
Charlie Bisharat String Instrument
Bono Guitar, Vocals
Jacqueline Brand Violin, String Instrument
Adam Clayton Bass Guitar
Larry Corbett Cello, String Instrument
Brian Dembow Viola, String Instrument
Stephen Erdody Cello, String Instrument
Ron Fair Organ, Guitar, Harmonica, Piano, Conductor, Keyboards, Orchestra Bells
Julie Gigante Violin, String Instrument
John Goux Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Endre Granat Violin
Alan Grunfeld String Instrument
Clayton Haslop Violin, String Instrument
Paula Hochhalter Strings, Cello, String Instrument
Bernard Kenny Bass
Armen Ksadjikian Cello, String Instrument
David Low String Instrument
David Lowery String Instrument
Rene Mandel Violin
Harvey Mason Sr. Glockenspiel, Timpani
Cornelius Mims Bass
Larry Mullen Jr. Percussion, Drums
Robin Olson Violin
Katia Popov Violin
Mark Robertson Violin
Anatoly Rosinsky Violin
Cecilia Tsan Cello
Josefina Vergara Violin, String Instrument
Dave Young Track Performer
Raphael Saadiq Bass, Guitar
Suzie Katayama Cello, String Instrument
Natalie Leggett Violin, String Instrument
Joel Deroin String Instrument
Kelvin Wooten Keyboards
James "Big Jim" Wright Keyboards
Darrin McCann Viola, String Instrument
Chalmers Alford Guitar
will.i.am Keyboards
The South Central Chamber Orchestra Strings
Loren Dawson Piano
Roberto Cani Violin, String Instrument
50 Cent Vocals
Samuel Formicola Viola, String Instrument
Alyssa Park Violin, String Instrument
Andrew Duckles Viola, String Instrument
Songa Lee Violin, String Instrument
Robert Ozuna Percussion, scratching, Drums
Tereza Stanislav String Instrument
Frank Ramonoe Guitar
Charles Vail Strings
Issiah "IZ" Avila Bass, Percussion, Drums
Craig Brokman Piano
Endre Genet String Instrument
Rexell Hardy Jr. Drums
Brook Lynn Track Performer
Frank Ramono Guitar
South Central Orchestra Strings
Victoria Miskolczy Viola
Phillip Levy Violin, String Instrument
Marlow Fisher Viola, String Instrument
Mario de León Violin, String Instrument
Lily Ho Chen Violin, String Instrument
Matthew Funes String Instrument
Keith Harris Organ, Piano, Keyboards, Synthesizer Bass
Technical Credits
Freddie Jackson Composer
Lonnie Liston Smith Composer
Bunny Sigler Composer
Bobby Ross Avila Composer, Producer
The Edge Composer
Robert Aries Composer
Mary J. Blige Composer, Producer, Vocal Arrangements, Vocal Producer
Bono Composer
Leslie Bricusse Composer
Sean Carter Composer
Adam Clayton Composer
Patrick Dillett Engineer, Vocal Producer
Reginald Dozier Engineer
Ron Fair Producer, Vocal Arrangements, String Arrangements, Vocal Producer
Allan Felder Composer
Larry Gold String Arrangements
Bernie Grundman Mastering
Norman Harris Composer
Jimmy Jam Producer
Terry Lewis Composer, Producer
Larry Mullen Jr. Composer
Anthony Newley Composer
Allen Sides Engineer
Troy Taylor Vocal Producer
Ryan Toby Composer
Benjamin F. Wright String Arrangements, String Conductor, String Writing
Rodney Jerkins Composer, Producer
Raphael Saadiq Composer, Producer
Jan Fairchild Engineer
Paul Foley Engineer
Andre Harris Composer, Producer, Instrumentation
James "Big Jim" Wright Producer
will.i.am Composer, Engineer
Johnta Austin Composer, Vocal Producer
Drew FitzGerald Art Direction
Dave Young Orchestra Vocal Producer
Vidal Davis Composer, Producer, Instrumentation
Tal Herzberg Producer, Engineer, Digital Editing
Jason Perry Composer
Justice League Producer
Jake & the Phatman Producer
Infinity Producer
Bryan-Michael Cox Composer, Producer, String Arrangements, Instrumentation
Curtis Jackson Composer
Matt Marrin Engineer
Candice Childress Composer
John Tanksley Engineer
Kendu Isaacs Management
Keri Hilson Composer, Vocal Arrangements
9th Wonder Producer
Ezekiel Lewis Composer
Michael Eleopoulos Engineer
Robert Ozuna Composer
Anthony Lavon Evans Engineer
Davel "Bo" McKenzie Producer
Sean Garrett Composer, Vocal Producer
Candice Nelson Composer
Charles "Biscuits" Brungardt Vocal Producer
Issiah "IZ" Avila Producer
Dernst Emile Composer
Jayceon Taylor Composer
Anthony "Devyne" Evans Engineer
Danny "Stems" Cheung Engineer
Jaycen Joshua Engineer
Diana Gordon Composer
Keith Harris Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 43 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(35)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 43 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Saved My Life!

    Over the holidays, I had a lot of family visiting. Christmas really brought us together. When they left I missed them, but more family came for New Years. As of yesterday, everybody is gone. Miles and miles away from me again. It was so hard to see them all go, but I knew that crying was not going to bring them back. I decided to listen to the new Mary J Blige CD I received for Christmas. "Breakthrough" saved my life! The inspiration and wisdom in the lyrics reassured me that everything was going to be alright. Mary, if I could talk to you right now, there would be no limit to my thanking you. You are a strong person and an amazing musician. Keep going! No matter how much it hurts, time will heal you!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    SHE HELPS U KEEP UR HEAD UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This cd can give you the will to keep going.I like the fact that she holds nothing back.With her music you can hear the good and the bad.I think the people who dont like this cd are crazy.With age and time she has gotten better and it is always good to have someone you can put the 1st cd they made and the last one and see them growing.I think that the haters are just the ones who never understood the her at all. God Bless and keep it going cant wait for her next cd

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Revenge of Mary J. Blige

    Upon hearing the first track from Mary J. Blige’s “The Breakthrough,” I thought of it as a kind of press release sent to her detractors, those who had labeled her last effort, 2003’s “Love & Life,” a failure. An almost militaristic beat rose from the silence, meet- ing synthesized horns that suggested royalty: a queen’s introduction, then the song open- ed up in perfect tempo. Her vocals were confident – almost cocky, and the result seemed like a statement. It was like she was musically saying, “I am happy, but it makes me no less a force to be reckoned with. I don’t need pain to be great.” Those who follow Blige’s career should be aware that in some entertainment circles, as well as amongst some of her own fan base, a conclusion had been reached about the singer. They were under the impression that Blige’s vast appeal (and success) was somehow the result of mining her life’s struggles, and consistently sharing her emotional findings with us through her music. She has done that extremely well of course (possessing a soulfulness in her voice that rivals that of Aretha Franklin), but if you believe such a thing, then it may make sense that a married, spiritually grounded, content Blige would succumb to “commercial” mediocrity or worse. But, something funny happened on the way to the studio …. Released in December 2005, just in time for the holidays, the CD was certainly anticipated (as most of her efforts had been), yet the track “No One Will Do,” has no connection to pain. The song communicates devotion, and the honesty associated with that. Maybe it is simply about true love, which is what she has seemingly found. The overall release appears to be about love, fidelity, faith, and perseverance. If this is the case, maybe she hasn’t lost her knack for chronicling her experiences through her music at all. This is merely the next chapter. It too is her life, and is honest progress. And, if this is her “breakthrough,” then what we find on the other side is worth revealing. The material here is a showcase for Mary J. Blige’s happiness through the songs themselves, incorporating all she does well in triumphant fashion. The radio hit, “Be Without You” is as close to perfect as a song in this genre can be. With its clapping beat, catchy chorus, and delicate, but hip-hop flavored, keyboard melody, the tune is rock solid. It is all held together by the lyrics, as well as her signature vocals … which are as good as ever. As is the standard for the R&B genre these days, guest artists are also present, which include Will I Am (from the Black Eyed Peas), The Game, and Jay-Z. Only her guests don’t steal the show, which can often happen. It ends up being quite the opposite here. In fact, on “Can’t Hide from Luv,” when Jay-Z declares, “this is beautiful music, Ladies and Gentleman,” there is no doubt that this is the case. He seems to be offering the “play-by-play,” as opposed to putting his own stamp on the track. Blige inhabits her work with a sonic urgency here, and a sharp sense of vocal command, so that there is never a doubt about it being her show. Even when Blige uses borrowed material, such as the clever re-working of The Game’s “Hate It or Love It” into a clever retrospective of her career, and personalizing U2’s “One,” on the final track, the quality of the CD doesn’t suffer … although the latter is a bit out of place (which might be why it is the last song). Including Bono himself on the track was a wise decision, and this sort of respectful inclusion was also bestowed upon Elton John when he played the melody from “Bennie and the Jets” on her song “Deep Inside,” from her 1999 release, Mary. Blige&#8217

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best Album of 2005

    This album blew me away. It amazes me more each time I listen to it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    She's back

    AWESOME.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    YOU'RE BACK, MARY!!!!!

    MJB fell off with her last 3 albums, but she came back and she did it AGAIN!!! One word for this album...BEAUTIFUL.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This CD the TRUTH !!

    You are gonna LOVE this ! This CD has Hit after Hit! I don't think I've ever been so pleased as a fan. I love it. Straight from the First Jam you will just be a happy and satisfied customer. It is a must have for Mary's fans and anyone slightly curious about Mary's music. Thank you Mary ! I can't wait for the concert !

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Mary truley breaks through

    Mary J Blige's latest cd release "The Breakthrough" doe's just that this cd shows just how much the artist has matured

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Breakthrough

    the mvp of hip hop soul & r&b is back wit this breakthrough. taking back her sit back a the top of her game showing beyonce,ashanit amier ,fahit evans , how it done. with a hot frist single ,fresh new look and an hot cd to back her up. after her an puff reteam up for her 2003 release of love&live which should have been title oil&water.they came out with an set of song that were lackluster and weak.but mary rise again with this 17 set disc .working with the like of jimmy jam&terry lewis,dre vidal,rodney jenkeis,jay-z, she hit us with an classsic. of hip hop ,jazz,pop, soul, hiphop soul the this is truely the breakthrought mary fan have been waiting for .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Exhilarated and Deeply Moved

    Mary J.Blige's new album, "The Breakthrough" is not only outstanding, but also exhilarating and can deeply move a person down to the soul. In this cd she takes numerous amounts of drama from her life and relates it towards her music. One of the songs on this dazzling and wonderful piece of work is called, "Be Without You" celebrates the absolute love that her husband has brought to her life. This love is definitely expressed and spoken of in this song which has been proved by the fact that it has been on TRL's top 10 songs for many weeks. It also has been considered a hit to others. With this new and very credible album, Mary J. Blige emerges once again as a MVP among R&B artists. She seems to be more comfortable and confident with her music, which not only makes this album, here music, and herself outshine surface forth in the music world with great music, power, and even greater enthusiasm, than she ever had before.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    MJB is back!!

    Like I said MJB is back. The queen of Hip Hop's new album the Breakthrough album as many catchy great and creative songs. Hands down its one of her best. Her single be without you made it all the way and in my opinon was her best song of all time the songs lyrics are so touching and heart warming I love it. Also on the album is "mjb da mvp" its a excelent song because its easy to dance to. One of my favirot songs is "Father in you" because its a song about how her father left her and its a sad story with a good beat and touching words that get right to the point. The songs on the album are ones you can just sit and listen to and others that just make you want to get up and dance. Thats why I gave this album 5 stars because it is such an outstanding album. I recommend it to everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Breakthrough

    mary jblige breakthought live up to all it's hype.she bring it with the opening track( no one will do) where she tell her man his the only one.with and hot soul sample.she take you back to gettho with the track (stop crying)were she kick a hot 16 bars.with her alter ego (brook).this song has all the right stuff to be and hit record.the hot dance beat ,the hot hook.another song that jumps out at you is .cant hide from love .with jay z her parther in crime mary start off saying( iam coming for you i aint wasting time casue all night long you been on my mind).she hook you in with the second vesre ( what you feel she a real woman for you frist time)the beat was perfectly put down by dre&vidal who made hit with usher.ciara.amier.now mjb. the aretha sounding (i found my everthing ) were mary have you saying WOW!!! she sing this song like a younger aretha . the track (father in you) mary tell her husband she need the father in him to keep her strong) putting a in dethp look in to the life of mjb .(good woman down) is a woman anthem that all needs to be said.(aint really love )the b cox song mary make a statement the has all black woman saying go head mary!!! (an then you take me to a level of some bulls**t you say you never had these problem form a white chick)the song (about you) will.iam.track with a sample from nina somone) were mary had landed the lead role of nina in the movie about her life. i put a spell on you. had a crossover appel to everybody.mary also sing a u2 hit song (one) with bono right by her side this song had alot of hype around it when they perform this song for katrina fund riase .she take the center stage and make bono take a back sit to her soulful vocal and take you there and back. the breakthrought mary has truly have one with this disc. after selling more than her other dice in the past with .(727k) in her frist week. this abulm will be the abulm of the year

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Excellence is synonymous with MJB

    This is one of the best cd's MJB has created since My Life. It is poetic, profound and deeply soulful. She comes alive in this testimony that goodness comes to those who wait. She recognizes the trials of her life and rejoices in the good things she now possesses. With every track, she renews your belief that she is the "Queen"! If you don't know...buy this cd and you will soon find out! It is worth every penny!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    MJB Never Left The Building!!!

    Mary, with the powerhouse voice, I am a huge fan who is honored to know your music, your heart, your soul! The album is Tripple Platinum right now as far as I'm concerned. God Bless you Mary!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    CLASSIC Album

    The Breakthrough Album is a Classic!!!! This Album in my opion is her best, yes her best so far.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Mary Does It Big On This Album

    I think Mary really expressed herself on this album.She takes things that she went through and turns it into songs.I don't think she was scared at all to express herself on this album which was great.My favorite song on the album is "Good Woman Down",she really expressed what people might be going through or went through but that's all i'm saying just go and get the album and see for yourself.From the album I can conclude that Mary J. Blige has a really loving and caring husband that she loves deeply.I think anyone would love this album that understands Mary J. Blige and understands what she went through.A GREAT ALBUM!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Straight Banger!!

    I love this cd. I've always been a fan of MJB and I think this is one of her best!! Good Woman Down is my favorite. Keep doing your thing Mary!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    outstanding

    This album is great! Mary has matured! Worth every penny!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    She's an icon

    No matter what she sings she is still one of the greatest artist of all time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Mary J Blige The never ending Queen of Hip/Hop & R&B

    After a full review of the brekthrough, it let me know why iam a true die heart fan of Mary's there aint no other artist like her she always keep it real and give it to you straight with no chaser. And that's why she is still on top 15 years later there's no way you can't respect her.I love everyone she worked with on this album. Ijust wish that she could have worked with her bestfriend Lil Kim this time around. i wish her the best with her career and her personal life Mary is finally happy and that what she deserve.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 43 Customer Reviews