Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor



by Peter Mavrik

This article shared 1469 times since Wed Jan 4, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Artists grow all the time. Life starts at one place and moves to another. I'm a firm believer that pain, in whatever form it may take, teaches. The best lessons are learned when your heart aches. There's something about that duality of love, from the highest highs to the lowest lows, that tends to draw out the creativity in people, especially singers.

Mary J. Blige is no exception. Her music taught me how to accept love, how to work through pain, and how to try to relate it all to life. I've insisted on no more drama. I've asked 'What's the 411?'. I've said I'm not gonna cry no more while sharing my world, looking for real love the whole time. Seven days changed my life just when I though love was all we needed. But now it's time for a breakthrough. Time for THE breakthrough, actually.

'The Breakthrough', her latest out on Geffen Records, might just change the way you think about who you are in less than three tracks. One of the most brilliant things about every album Mary J. Blige has done is how they will take you on a journey from start to finish. It's perfectly clear after only a single listen through 'The Breakthrough' that Mary J. Blige is still at the top of her craft. And she's not alone., Jay-Z, Raphael Saddiq, Bono & U2, and Dave Young all join Mary along the way to talk about affairs of the heart.

The first thing I noticed about this album was its length. Seventy-six minutes, fifty-two seconds. Amen and amen. In this day and age of artists pumping out less than an hour of music per album, Mary doesn't mess around. With eighteen tracks, she ain't playin'.

She's never sounded better either. The slow jam 'I Found My Everything' with Raphael Saddiq is sung from deep inside her soul with every bit of hollerin' she can muster. He actually sounds a bit like Prince in the background. Jay-Z helps her bring a fresh perspective to the old-school loop on 'Can't Hide From Luv.' It sounds a lot like early Mary to me: satisfying and comfortable.

In fact, there are a lot of tracks that sound like early Mary. 'Good Woman Down' really echoes the sound and feelings of 'What's the 411?'. There's a down-tempo track called 'Father In You' that's so beautifully Mary, I had to hit the repeat button a few times with that one.

Shimmering in my spotlight is the track 'About You' that's currently burning up my mp3 player. and Mary J. pair up with some Nina Simone samples and possibly the best lyrics of her career. Her soulful voice bellows out over simple beats, a hook that'll get inside your head, and Nina Simone's signature wails remixed. If you listen to one track first either in the store or online, make it this one.

In the end, there are many more tracks that will make 'The Breakthrough' one of those albums that you may need to listen to alone. Mary J. Blige is good for that: uncovering those tough parts we all wear and forcing you to feel every emotion right along with her.

P.S. For a sneak peak of these tracks, and to hear me reading this column, tune in to and subscribe to my podcast. Don't know what a podcast is? Then be sure to read my column next week.

With you in 4/4,

Peter Mavrik

This article shared 1469 times since Wed Jan 4, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

'Andersonville Homecoming' Sept. 24-26; line-up, vendors, safety protocols announced 2021-09-15
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Sept. 15, 2021) — The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is pleased to announce the full entertainment line-up and vendors for Andersonville Homecoming--a three-night, two-day outdoor festival featuring ...

Gay News

Next OUTspoken show Sept. 7 2021-08-24
- An OUTspoken Storytelling Night taking place Tuesday, Sept. 7, will offer tales told by six people who will relate their stories of fun and fortune from a LGBTQ+ perspective. The entertainment will start at 7 p.m. ...

Gay News

Taste of River North cancelled 2021-07-29
- On July 29, the River North Residents Association, along with theMART and Duff Entertainment, announced the cancellation of the 2021 edition of Taste of River North. The event was slated to take place Aug. 20-21 at ...

Gay News

OUTspoken storytelling to host six takes from LGBTQ+ perspective 2021-07-26
--From a press release - The month of August is hot - but OUTspoken at the Sidetrack will be even hotter on Aug. 3 when six storytellers will tell tales of fun and fortune from a LGBTQ+ perspective! The program will start at 7:00 pm at ...

Gay News

LGBTQIA+ tavern to open in Uptown this fall 2021-07-14
- 2Bears Tavern Group—which owns and operates Andersonville's The SoFo Tap and Meeting House Tavern as well as Rogers Park's Jackhammer—is opening 2Bears Tavern Uptown in the former Nick's on Wilson space at 1140 W. Wilson Ave. ...

Gay News

Pride Parade coordinator provides latest on the 'likely scenario' for event 2021-05-08
- Tim Frye, the coordinator of the 2021 Pride Parade, told Windy City Times that the assessment of this year's event has not changed over the last few weeks. The official statement/assessment at this point is: "We ...

Gay News

OUTspoken Storytelling to host tales from LGBTQ perspectives Nov. 10 2020-11-01
--From a press release - Another exciting OUTspoken Storytelling Night will offer the perspective of four Chicagoans telling life's stories from their LGBTQ+ viewpoint or that of their close friends and relatives, Tuesday, Nov. 10, starting at 7 p.m. on Zoom. ...

Gay News

Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade, this year a drive-through 2020-10-26
--From a Chicago Park District press release - CHICAGO: LUMA8, in collaboration with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), the Chicago Park District and Presenting Sponsor, the Blommer Chocolate Company, is pleased to announce Arts in the Dark - an UPSIDE ...

Gay News

Nightlines 1990-2001, Nightspots 2001-2015 2020-09-30
- Throughout the 1990s, Nightlines focused on the LGBTQ entertainment scene, from the bars to the stage and everything in between. With the new millennium came a significant format change as Nightspots focused in on the bar ...

Gay News

PASSAGES Former Northalsted bartender Eric Sangster dies at 37 2020-09-27
- Northalsted bartender Eric Sangster died Sept. 17 unexpectedly at the age of 37. At the time of this article's publication, Sangster's cause of death is unknown. Sangster was born June 4, 1983, on a Jacksonville, North ...

Gay News

PASSAGES Gay business owner/nightlife figure Bob Yeaworth dies 2020-09-20
- Gay business owner and promoter Robert "Bob" Yeaworth died Sept. 14 from complications due to his ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) diagnosis. He was 64. Yeaworth was born Sept. 17, 1955 in Cincinnati, Ohio, ...

Gay News

PASSAGES Medusa's owner Dave Shelton passes away 2020-08-19
- Dave Shelton, a.k.a. Dave "Medusa" Shelton—so named for his trademark frizzy locks— "just was different," recalled his good friend of 45 years, Richard Cooke. Shelton was the proprietor of the iconic nightspot Medusa's on Sheffield in ...

Gay News

Gerber/Hart fall benefit Sept. 12-13 2020-08-08
- The Gerber/Hart Library and Archives fall benefit—"Saving LGBTQ History: Archives in a Time of Activism"—will take place Sept. 12-13 at the venue, 6500 N. Clark St. On those days, there will be a series of 90-minute ...

Gay News

Holocaust Museum's virtual soiree Sept. 2 2020-08-06
- On Wed., Sept. 2, Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center's Women's Leadership Committee will host its annual soirée virtually. The event will stream live from a studio with a star-studded line-up featuring a musical performance by ...

Gay News

Virtual OPALGA+ scholarship gala slated for Oct. 24 2020-08-06
- OPALGA+/Oak Park Area Lesbian & Gay Association will hold a virtual scholarship gala Saturday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. The event will feature video clips from the organization's scholarship winners, the Founder's Award celebration and opportunities ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.