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Review: Blige solid on ‘Think Like a Man’ album

By Melanie J. Sims
Associated Press
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/21/23/25/BPVFA.Em.138.jpeg|316
    - AP/EPIC RECORDS
    The cover of Mary J. Blige’s “Think Like A Man Too: All New Music From and Inspired by the Film,” shows the characters of the sequel. For the music, execs ditched the “various artists” formula and instead put all their faith in a singular artist: Mary J. Blige.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/21/23/25/1kNu0K.Em.138.jpeg|500
    David Buchan - GETTY
    Singer Mary J. Blige attends the premiere of Screen Gems’ “Think Like A Man Too” at TCL Chinese Theatre on June 9 in Hollywood, California. The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul did the soundtrack for the movie and easily proves herself more than capable of exercising a vocal and emotional range to capture all the ups, downs and misfires of the film.

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    ‘Think Like A Man Too: Music from and Inspired by the Film’

    Mary J. Blige (Epic)



Sequels rarely outshine the originals, so perhaps that’s why the team behind the “Think Like a Man” soundtrack decided to do something different with the music for the romantic comedy’s second installment.

Execs ditched the “various artists” formula – though last time it yielded a Grammy-nominated hit with John Legend’s “Tonight (Best You Ever Had)” – and instead put all their faith in a singular artist: Mary J. Blige.

The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul easily proves herself more than capable of exercising a vocal and emotional range to capture all the ups, downs and misfires one might expect from a movie inspired by Steve Harvey’s best-selling relationship guide book.

Harvey would certainly approve Blige’s message on the anthemic “Power Back.” “The more you do that BS, the more I keep it real,” she sings of dealing with a wishy-washy lover. “If it’s one thing men respect, it’s when we don’t react.”

Self-assured Blige is serious about commitment, and she says as much on the ominous, head nod-inducing “All Fun and Games,” produced by The-Dream. But for all Blige’s tough talking, she has a soft side, too.

She finds chemistry in the club on the delicious horn and drum-laced “See That Boy Again,” produced by Pharrell.

On the growling “I Want You,” she’s all torn up inside when she spots her ex-guy with a new woman.

And she’s aching to be loved “like I’m you, like I’m you, babe,” on “Self Love,” a beautifully grand track which is easily the soundtrack’s most riveting offering.

As a whole, the “Think Like a Man Too” compilation reveals that while women and men might be closer to figuring each other out, we can never outsmart love.

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