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.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.