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Growing Pains by Mary J. Blige
Released: Dec 2007
Label: Geffen*
Can you believe Mary J. has been in this game for 15 years? She looks good and, on her ninth album, she's sounding mighty fine, too. She starts off with two big bangs: the strutting "Work That" and "Grown Woman," which is just hot. Then there's "Just Fine," which is, well, only just fine. So is the rest of the album, a series of self-help slow jams. Here's the thing, though: most of Mary's material is contextual, meant to be used in case of emotional emergency. So when your man dumps you or you're dumping on yourself, you know tunes like "Hurt Again" or "Fade Away" will be there.
Rachel Devitt
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