November 19, 2022

Mary J. Blige - Reflections: A Retrospective (2006)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: R&B
Label Number: B0008112-02

© 2006 Geffen/Matriarch Records
From 1992's "You Remind Me" through 2006's "Take Me as I Am," Mary J. Blige netted 16 Top Ten R&B/hip-hop singles, making the end of 2006 the ideal time to produce an anthology collecting the singer's biggest hits. A 16-track disc with nothing but Top Ten hits would be undeniable and sell steadily for years. Unfortunately, Reflections (A Retrospective) is nowhere near that straightforward. A mere handful of the Top Ten hits are included. While obvious picks like "Be Happy," "Real Love," "Not Gon' Cry," and "Be Without You" are present, a casual fan could rattle off just as many well-known songs that are not -- "You Remind Me," "Sweet Thing," "Deep Inside," "Love @ 1st Sight," and "Take Me as I Am," for starters. Part of why the disc is missing so much is because over a quarter of it consists of new material; since Blige was still very active in 2006, the label found it necessary to maximize immediate sales potential by targeting the serious fans as much as the casual ones. By no means are the new songs poor, but they don't stand up to Blige's best singles. The same can be said of 2000's "911," where Blige guests for Wyclef Jean -- a well-chosen disc of Blige's best collaborations wouldn't include it. Another odd choice is the "Razor Sharp Mix" of "I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to Get By." For all the foul-ups, this remains a completely enjoyable listen.

tags: mary j blige, reflections a retrospective, 2006, flac,

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