September 07, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

Like Bill Clinton, Blige can ignore drama all she wants, but it keeps coming back at her. Her sixth album finds her dissing backstabbers and gold-digging males while asserting her own supposedly positive mind-set. It’s the stuff of recent records by Blige heirs like Blu Cantrell and Sunshine Anderson, but ”No More Drama” bests them all in the music and personality departments. From the Dre-produced theatricality of the single ”Family Affair” to refined funk and crisp quiet-storm R&B, the multi-producer arrangements are expansive yet warm, and Blige’s pushy rasp has never sounded better. Anyone who hires a choir to chant ”PMS!” in a slow jam of the same name is the best sort of drama queen.

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