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Blogcritics Goodie Bag: Mary J. Blige, Sam Moore, Taking Back Sunday, Bad Astronaut, Boss Playas, and Natalie Walker

To state that 2006 was one of the biggest years of Mary J. Blige‘s career isn’t hype. It is truth. In 2006, there was no bigger story or artist, in any genre, than Mary J. Blige. Thanks to a chart-topping album, history making #1 single, galvanizing television appearances, and a sold out tour, 2006 became the 12-month span in which the multiple platinum selling, Grammy winning Queen of Hip Hop Soul scaled new creative, personal, and commercial heights. So after all of those dazzling achievements, what does Mary J. do to top it? Simple. She rewards her fans by recording yet another classic in the making, Reflections – A Retrospective, which will be released on Geffen Records in December. Listen to the single “We Ride (I See the Future)” (rm|wm)

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and GRAMMY® Award winner Sam Moore recently completed an astonishing new solo album project Sam Moore: Overnight Sensational. With a little help from some extremely talented friends such as Bruce Springsteen, Vince Gill, Eric Clapton, Mariah Carey, the late, great Billy Preston, and with Randy Jackson at the production helm, Overnight Sensational is worthy of bringing Grammy glory home yet again to the ever-deserving Moore. With Grammy voting happening now, Moore will assuredly grab the attention of voters with his brilliant mix of raucous, energetic soul and diverse musical skills ranging from country to rock to R&B.

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Taking Back Sunday recently released their second single and latest music video for “Liar (It Takes One to Know One),” and are now giving fans the chance to go behind-the-scenes with exclusive footage from the making of the video. The two-minute special is only available through the band’s YouTube channel and features an exclusive interview, scenes from the video shoot, and a look at the videomaking process. YouTube users and Taking Back Sunday fans are encouraged to subscribe to the band’s channel to get instant alerts when Taking Back Sunday posts new video content, behind-the-scenes “webisodes,” or exclusive footage available only in their Video Log.

Twelve Small Steps, One Giant Disappointment is the third and final album from the indie rock side project of Lagwagon’s lead singer and songwriter Joey Cape (Bad Astronaut). This seven-piece band features Marko from Sugarcult and former Lagwagon drummer Derrick Plourde. Download and listen to two tracks from the album: “Autocare” and “The ‘F’ Word.”

The Boss Playas‘ full-length album will be out in Febrary of next year. Meanwhile, check out the video for “Who’s Ya Boy.”

Natalie Walker, emerging chanteuse and songwriter, has just completed the video for her latest single “Quicksand,” an ethereal ballad that is a must-listen for anyone experiencing heartbreak. The video, filmed in Brooklyn, was directed by Jon Clements and produced by Done & Dusted. Check it out:

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