As 2007 winds down to an end, I can’t help but think that some of the best R&B releases were held off until now. For, judging by these two new tracks, the Queen of Hip-Hop/Soul Mary J. Blige appears to bringing ‘it’ on her forthcoming new album ‘Growing Pains’ (due December 18th).
Mary and Usher trade verses on the metaphorical (yet lyrically simplistic) ‘Shake Down’. The Tricky Stewart penned/ Jazze Pha produced track is hardly groundbreaking, but works all the same.
The masterminds behind Mary’s 2005 smash ‘Be Without You’, Bryan-Michael Cox and Johnta Austin, are re-enlisted on the mid-tempo ballad ‘Stay Down’. I’ve had this on heavy rotation since hearing it; great track, very lyrically engaging.