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Pop Recordings; Mary Blige, in Good Company
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Subjects: Musical recordings; Popular music; Rap music
Author: Harrington, Richard
Date: Aug 18, 1999
Start Page: C.01
Section: STYLE

Mary J. Blige doesn't really need the stellar help she gets on "Mary" (MCA), but she takes advantage of her partnerships, particularly with Lauryn Hill and Aretha Franklin. A meeting between the Queen of Soul and the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul was probably inevitable, and it inspires pure vocal empathy and emotional sparks on the Babyface-produced "Don't Waste Your Time." In that song, Blige and Franklin vent their mutual frustrations over do-wrong men-- "What's the point of giving what he don't deserve?"--and insist that they're going to regain control of skewed relationships.

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