Love & Life

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Performance

Reviewer

Bob Waliszewski

Album Review

Pro-Social Content

“Ultimate Relationship (A.M.)” finds the singer praising God for meeting with her every morning (“Jesus, your love takes me away/… What a perfect way to start the day”). On “Free (Interlude),”Blige says, “I wanna be free from all the things that tear me down/… Lies, stress and doubt.” Other cuts express romantic love (“Willing & Waiting,” “Special Part of Me”) and encourage listeners to persevere when times are tough (“Press On”). “Don’t Go” expresses the need for mutual respect and understanding in relationships.

Objectionable Content

While not explicit, several tracks are preoccupied with sex (“When We,” “Feel Like Makin’ Love”). “Love @ 1st Sight” involves people who don’t even know each other wanting to “hook up” for “sex on the platter.” Profanities and an offensive racial slur mar a handful of tunes. The fact that Blige invited rap extremists Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Eve, P. Diddy and Method Man to the party comes across as an endorsement of these vile artists and what they stand for. Conversations on the companion DVD include nearly 20 s-words and a pair of barely bleeped f-words.

Summary Advisory

Two years ago, Blige stated that her live-in fiancé was a godly man who read the Bible with her. That odd marriage of Christian faith and hip-hop hormones is present on her latest disc, which will confuse young fans.

Bob Waliszewski
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