new album released Oct 13th
from the album - Break Up
Born and raised in Baltimore, MD, R&B vocalist Mario started to develop his natural talent while singing along with his mom using a karaoke machine at home. Discovered at the age of 11 in a local talent show, he later traveled to New York City to establish a career and scored a contract with Clive Davis' J label. Following his contribution to the Dr. Doolittle 2 soundtrack and a captivating performance of Stevie Wonder's "You and I" at Davis' Grammy party in February 2002, the newcomer was primed for stardom. At the age of 15, Mario debuted with the release of "Just a Friend 2002," produced by Warryn Campbell and based on rapper Biz Markie's hit "Just a Friend." His self-titled album followed in July, featuring contributions by Grammy-winning Alicia Keys. Turning Point, released in 2004, went to number two on the R&B album chart, hoisted by the ubiquitous smash "Let Me Love You," a single that also helped launch the career of Ne-Yo, the song's writer. The December 2007 release of Mario's third album, Go, was preceded by several delays and projected release dates; its initial date was November of the previous year. The album featured productions from Polow da Don, Timbaland, Stargate, the Neptunes, the Underdogs, and Akon. The album's last song, "Do Right," dealt with his relationship with his mother, a heroin addict; just prior to its release, MTV aired I Won't Love You to Death: The Story of Mario and His Mom, a program documenting the pair's struggle. Go peaked at number four on the R&B chart, just prior to Mario's appearance on the sixth season of Dancing with the Stars. D.N.A., Mario's fourth album, was released in October 2009. At the time, two of its songs, "Break Up" and "Thinkin' About You," were already on the singles charts.
Go was the most satisfying of Mario's first three albums, but it lacked a major crossover single on the level of "Let Me Love You." Although the sensitive ballad "Crying Out for Me" was big on R&B stations, it did not break the Top 30 of the Hot 100. The minimal Sean Garrett and Shondrae production "Break Up," however -- D.N.A.'s lead single, issued weeks before the album -- did not take long to become the singer's biggest pop hit since his breakthrough. And it does turn out to be his fourth album's greatest deviation from the back catalog, carrying a laggard and sparse pulse to back Mario's whiny swagger. "Get Out" is a close second, a buzzing and grinding production from Jim Jonson and Rico Love that mirrors the song's theme of emotional entrapment. One of the hardest beats Mario has had at his disposal, it pushes him into that tough guy mode (as heard occasionally in Go) where you can sense him forcing his jaw to tighten and his eyes to bug out: "This ain't real, so what the f*ck is we doin'?" Even with several new collaborators, including some of the aforementioned, Babyface, Carlos McKinney, the-Dream, and Tricky Stewart, D.N.A. is more a natural development than a series of drastic shifts, and while it will please the majority of the fan base, the material does not allow Mario -- a vocalist more versatile than many would like to admit -- to do much more than toggle between a Lothario and a softie.
1 Break Up Crawford, Davis, Garrett 04:09
2 Thinkin' About You Davidson, Davidson, Harr ... 04:12
3 Get Out Love, Scheffer 03:05
4 Soundtrack to My Broken Heart Love, McKinney 03:10
5 Starlight Nash, Stewart 03:57
6 Stranded Garrett, Hudson 03:23
7 Ooh Baby Augustin, Biamby, Love 03:40
8 Before She Said Hi Bobby Dan Pointer, Chiger ... 04:25
9 I Choose You Edmonds, Eriksen ... 04:23
10 Don't Walk Away Barrett, Hall, Maduakor ... 03:57
11 I Miss My Friend Edmonds, Ho, Prather, Wilson 03:48
12 The Hardest Moment Elvis "Blac Elvis" Williams ... 03:36