Growing Pains - Mary J. Blige
Growing Pains Image
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 24 Ratings

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  • Summary: The eighth album for the R&B singer was produced with help from The-Dream, Ne-Yo, Stargate, Dre & Vidal, and Timbaland.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Busta Rhymes and Ludacris get her back to where she once belonged for the duration of their openers. After that, it's an expensive, honorable, credible sampler of the hottest current R&B brands.
  2. The various producers behind this all pull their weight, but as usual the star is Blige’s husky voice and that charming mix of vulnerability and over-the-top diva confidence.
  3. She has been able to do what few others before her have: cater to her crossover audience without losing the essence of what she really is and where she came from, and so all of Growing Pains, from its upbeat beginning to its reflective, personal ending (though the last track, 'Come to Me [Peace]' is the only real miss on the entire album), doesn't seem forced or calculated.
  4. Growing Pains finds Blige on chirpier form.
  5. Growing Pains is an edgier record than "The Breakthrough," but Blige has definitely lost or just outgrown the brassy urgency of her twenties.
  6. Growing Pains could use more of this insouciance, or another song that harnessed all her gifts as well as Breakthrough's "Be Without You" did. Confusing confessions with wisdom, Blige would be more fun if she'd shut up for a while and luxuriate.
  7. Although there are numerous pointers as to what might have been, had Mary retained greater creative focus, there is precious little to savour here.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. KennyH.
    Dec 20, 2007
    10
    WOOW.. this album is sooo great! meaningful lyric and some good-feel songs made this album one of the best of 2007! Maybe even better than WOOW.. this album is sooo great! meaningful lyric and some good-feel songs made this album one of the best of 2007! Maybe even better than the breakthrough. Expand
  2. Dec 9, 2013
    10
    Growing Pains was over all a plus album for Mary J Bilge with an mid temp slow groove vibes with a constant up flowing beats that Mary's seemsGrowing Pains was over all a plus album for Mary J Bilge with an mid temp slow groove vibes with a constant up flowing beats that Mary's seems to nail often. I will place this album up there in Mary's top 3 albums. Expand
  3. Antoinew
    Dec 21, 2007
    10
    This album is so hottt. she did it again. she manage 2 put a lil feel of every album and even where she is now plus cater 2 da new fans all This album is so hottt. she did it again. she manage 2 put a lil feel of every album and even where she is now plus cater 2 da new fans all in 1 album. wow. only mary j blige. Expand
  4. [Anonymous]
    Jan 4, 2008
    10
    This album is great from start to finish. I can't take it out of the cd player. the more I listen to it the more I actually listen to This album is great from start to finish. I can't take it out of the cd player. the more I listen to it the more I actually listen to the words. A lot of the songs i can relate too. Expand
  5. Fez
    Feb 18, 2008
    10
    This is the best, let Alicia have a rest with her album with 4 hits, this CD has all the hits to rptate the radio in 2008.
  6. DillonH.
    Mar 4, 2008
    9
    excellent album. but on track 2 she sounds constipated. other than that great grl
  7. PACMusic
    Dec 24, 2007
    4
    Growing Pains

See all 12 User Reviews