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Top 3 in music: Mary J. Blige, Classified and Rivers Cuomo

<p>If you’ve been feelin’ MJB through her trials and tribulations, you know affirmations like “I’m talkin’ bout things that I know” from the single Work That are legit.</p>







Mary J. Blige

Album: Growing Pains

Label: Geffen

Release Date: Dec. 18

*** 1/2 (out of five)





If you’ve been feelin’ MJB through her trials and tribulations, you know affirmations like “I’m talkin’ bout things that I know” from the single Work That are legit. Although much of her new album settles into a selection of slower jams that suit Blige’s keep-it-real agenda with life and love struggles, some Janet Jackson-inspired sounds, funky drum touches and a host of hot producers help keep it crisp. Blige’s earnest delivery allows Growing Pains to be a R&B therapy session with much to offer.











Classified

Album: While You Were Sleeping

Label: Half Life Records

Release Date: N/A

*** 1/2 (out of five)





This is an impressive retrospective from one of Canada’s most talented hip-hop artists Luke Boyd, a.k.a. Classified. Stringing together more than ten years of rhymes, While You Were Sleeping is more than just a greatest hits album, it’s proof that East Coast rap doesn’t just come from New York — it can also include Halifax. A solid new track on the collection, Love The One You’re With, features brother Mic Boyd along with Classified’s Dad, Mike Sir.











Rivers Cuomo

Album: Alone Home Recordings Of Rivers Cuomo

Label: Geffen

Release Date: Dec. 18

** 1/2 (out of five)





The home recordings of Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo are a mostly unassuming collection of cast-offs. Though the liner notes make an intriguing read, early demos and Cuomo’s mellow imitation of Buddy Holly are just not that exciting. However, Weezer’s fans (who else would be listening to this CD?) should be tickled by the inclusion of demo tracks from the group’s legendary lost sci-fi rock opera, Songs From The Black Hole.


 
 
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