Mary J. Blige’s Strength of a Woman postured itself as a post-divorce battle cry. For an album this anticipated, the stakes were as high as Kendu Isaac’s delusions. Unfortunately, the end result left much to be desired, though this wasn’t the case at first glance. Strength of a Woman starts out with promise, but its potential all but evaporates by the end of its first half.
Post-Breakthrough Mary has often been hit or miss when it comes to her albums as a whole. Sure, she still gives us a gem or two, something remarkable given the painful, emotional journey she’s chonicled over the last 12 albums she’s released. Like her most recent projects, Strength of a Woman often tries to recapture the magic of personal masterpieces like My Life and The Breakthrough, but the end result seems to run away from her before we get the fully-realized, heart-wrenching gut punch Auntie Mary has been known for.