“The new album by R & B spitfire Amerie is out today.” That’s a sentence that I thought I’d never get to write on Idolator, despite her being one of my favorite singers for the duration of this site’s existence. And to make the news even better, In Love And War—which is her first U.S. release since 2005, thanks to Sony botching the release of Because I Love It two years ago—is quite good, even joy-inducing in spots. (It could maybe be pared of a song or two; the Lil Wayne remix of her artistic-statement single “Heard ‘Em All” is the definition of CD-era filler.) “But why,” you ask? I’ll tell you! After the jump, five reasons why it’s worth hunting it down at your preferred outlet for purchasing music.
1. It starts off with a snippet of New New Jill Swing. Track one is “Tell Me You Love Me,” a collaboration between Amerie and New Jack Swing mastermind Teddy Riley that’s all synth-brass and Amerie-sass, with the singer working her voice raw as she tells anyone within earshot that she’s going to make them love her.
2. Oh, and did I mention that another song is inspired by Mint Condition? “Pretty Brown” is a rewrite of Mint Condition’s “Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)” on which Amerie is assisted by Trey Songz. This is actually one of the high points on the album that derives from Amerie doing her own thing over a tweaked beat—something that I really enjoyed about the mix tape that she put out before Because I Love It’s abortive launch here.
3. “Dangerous.” See also “Dangerous,” which is clearly operating in the vein of her big hit “1 Thing,” only with a lot more grime on the guitar riff. Amerie’s actually working off a track by R & B singer Lil Eddie of the same name, the linchpin sample of which was apparently lifted from a track by the South Korean singer BoA. But Amerie’s tongue-twisty belting and the slightly pitched-down version of the sample make her overall package kinda superior to the other two, I think.
4. “Why R U” was my pick for the summer jam of ‘09. Unfortunately, few people agreed with me, but that’s OK, because it still matches up well with early-November bluster.
5. We can’t let Amerie be torpedoed by her label’s missteps again. The behind-the-scenes problems with Because I Love It, which only came out here if you count couple of its songs being included on a contract-killing greatest-hits package, were legion. And now word is coming out—from Amerie herself—that not only is the album not on iTunes yet because of a glitch, there are shipping issues holding up its progress to stores. Ugh! But it is on Amazon MP3 for $9.49.
In Love And War [Amazon MP3]
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