After the Storm (Monica album)

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After the Storm
Studio album by Monica
Released June 17, 2003 (2003-06-17)
(see release history)
Recorded 2001–2003
Genre R&B
Length 52:34
Label J
Producer
Monica chronology
All Eyez on Me
(2002)
After the Storm
(2003)
The Makings of Me
(2006)
Singles from After the Storm
  1. "So Gone"
    Released: April 8, 2003
  2. "Knock Knock/Get It Off"
    Released: September 2003
  3. "U Should've Known Better"
    Released: May 18, 2004

After the Storm is the fourth studio album by American recording artist Monica. It was first released through J Records on June 17, 2003. Conceived from her abandoned project, All Eyez on Me (2002) which had suffered from heavily bootlegging following its Japan-wide release and thus became widely available through Internet file-sharing services, recording sessions for the album took place in 2001 to 2003 at several studios. Production for the album was handled primarily by Missy Elliott, Soulshock & Karlin, Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, and BAM & Ryan.

The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, Monica's first album to do so, and sold 186,000 copies in its first week. It produced three singles that attained Billboard chart success, including chart topper "So Gone", and has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipments of one million copies in the United States. After the Storm received generally mixed to positive reviews from music critics. As of August 2010, the album has sold 1,023,000 copies in the United States.[1]

Background[edit]

In an interview with MTV News in June 2000, Monica revealed that she was planning to start work on a follow-up to her 1998 album, The Boy Is Mine, throughout the summer season, with a first single to be released by October of the same year.[2] The following month, personal tribulations put a temporary halt on the album's production when her friend and former boyfriend Jarvis "Knot" Weems committed suicide.[3] Knot left behind a daughter from a previous relationship, who Monica took into care after going into hiatus.[4] She eventually resumed work on her third album in fall 2001, involving her usual stable of producers such as Dallas Austin, production team Soulshock & Karlin, Jermaine Dupri, and Rodney Jerkins and his Darkchild crew.[5] Though originally expected to be released worldwide, All Eyez on Me received a wide release on October 21, 2002 in Japan only.[6] The set was initially scheduled for a US release in July 2002 and then pushed back to September before setting a November 12 release date.[5][7] By the time it was being scheduled for domestic release however, All Eyez on Me had been heavily bootlegged in Japan and become widely available through Internet file-sharing services.[3] In addition, the first single released from the project, "All Eyez on Me" had experienced moderate chart success, while follow-up "Too Hood," had received a lukewarm response.[3]

As a result, the album was pulled from stores days after the release and Monica's label J Records asked her to substantially reconstruct the record with a host of new producers, including musician Missy Elliott who would emerge as the new version's executive producer.[3] The singer intensified recording sessions in January 2003 to continue work on new songs with producers BAM & Ryan, Jasper DaFatso, and Jazze Pha. She also collaborated with rappers DMX, Dirtbag, Busta Rhymes and Mia X, and singers Tweet and Tyrese.[8] Mýa also was originally going to lend her voice to a track, but she was eventually replaced by Faith Evans; the untitled song did not, however, make the final tracklisting.[8] Although the album was still planned to be titled All Eyez on Me until its completion, the singer decided to change the album title into a more personal matter after dealing with private tribulations between the years 2000 and 2002: "I wanted this to be more of my testimony", Monica later told Jet Magazine.[9] "I feel blessed to still be here after a lot of things that I've been through. I wanted to share certain things with people. Not so much as what I've been through, but how I made it through. That's what the album reflects ... It's really the reason I titled my album After the Storm."[10]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[11]
Chicago Sun-Times 3/4 stars[12]
Entertainment Weekly B−[13]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[14]
Los Angeles Times 2.5/4 stars[15]
The New York Times favorable[16]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2.5/5 stars[17]
USA Today 3/4 stars[18]
The Village Voice mixed[19]
The Washington Post mixed[20]

After the Storm received generally mixed to positive reviews from music critics. Allmusic editor Andy Kellman gave the album four out of five stars and found that it picked up where previous album The Boy Is Mine "left off with nary a speed bump. Rather than come across as if there's lost time being made up, the album has all the assuredness and smart developments that should keep Monica's younger longtime followers behind her – all the while holding the ability to appeal to a wider spectrum of R&B and hip-hop fans [...] with just the right amount of swagger added to the singer's more wide-eyed personality of the '90s."[11] Caroline Sullivan from The Guardian commented that while "executive producer Missy Elliott is reliably ebullient on the burbling party number "Get It Off", and her enthusiasm clearly rubbed off on Monica, who essays some fawnlike rapping of her own on "So Gone" and "Knock Knock", things plod a bit in the second half, though, making After the Storm more it'll-do than must-buy.[14]

Vanessa Jones from Entertainment Weekly also called the non-Elliottt-produced material mediocre, noting that "superproducer Missy Elliott tarts things up with a trio of streetwise party anthems. Otherwise, in between are bland ballads and derivative midtempo tunes that often fail to match the creative heights of Monica's lush, church-trained voice. Only on a four-track bonus CD do vocals and music achieve equal footing as the singer moves beyond hackneyed beats to explore gospel, hip-hop, and quiet-storm grooves."[13] Natalie Nichols of the Los Angeles Times also complimented Elliott's input on the album. She added, that "great R&B moments have come from singers who dwell on tragedy as intensely as on overcoming. Clearly, the title i After the Storm mplies moving on rather than wallowing, but the album too often feels generic, despite the personal sentiments Monica lets out [...] So maybe she should've dwelt a little more, at that."[15]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number two on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It entered at number one on the Billboard 200, with sales of 186,000 copies, as Monica's first number-one album to date, and ultimately spent 24 weeks on the chart.[21] Sales declined soon but uniformly continuous, and After the Storm eventually received a gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America for shipments in excess of 500,000 copies in the US. As of August 2010, the record has sold 1,023,000 copies domestically.[1] While the album opened at number six on the Canadian albums chart, it failed to enter the majority of the charts outside the United States.

Although "Don't Gotta Go Home", a duet with DMX, was considered to be released as a single at times,[22] After the Storm spawned four singles: The album's lead single, "So Gone", became Monica's biggest commercial successes in years, reaching number 10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and spending five consecutive weeks on top of the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. It was eventually ranked fourth on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles 2003 year-end charts, but failed to chart or sell noticeably outside North America. Follow-up single "Knock Knock" never made it out of the lower half of the Billboard Hot 100, while simultaneously released "Get It Off" reached number 13 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. After the Storm's fourth and final single, "U Should've Known Better", received a late release in mid-2004 and became another top 20 hit for the singer.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Intro"  
  • Elliott
1:04
2. "Get It Off" (featuring Dirtbag)
  • Elliott
  • Herbet Jordan
  • Brockman
  • Steve Standard
  • Elliott
  • DJ Scratchator[a]
  • Brockman[b]
4:19
3. "So Gone"  
  • Elliott
  • Kenneth Cunningham
  • Jamahl Rye
  • Zyah Ahmounel
  • Elliott
  • Spike & Jamahl[a]
4:02
4. "U Should've Known Better"  
4:17
5. "Don't Gotta Go Home" (featuring DMX)
BAM & Ryan 3:55
6. "Knock Knock"  
  • Elliott
  • West[a]
4:18
7. "Breaks My Heart"   Soulshock & Karlin 4:26
8. "I Wrote This Song"   Soulshock & Karlin 3:48
9. "Ain't Gonna Cry No More"   Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins 4:10
10. "Go to Bed Mad" (featuring Tyrese)
BAM & Ryan 4:37
11. "Hurts the Most"  
  • Soulshock & Karlin
  • Biker
4:44
12. "That's My Man"   Pha 4:34
13. "Outro" (featuring Busta Rhymes & Tweet)
  • Elliott
  • Cunningham
  • Rye
  • Ahmounel
  • Arnold
  • Trevor Smith
  • Elliott
  • Brockman
4:20
Notes
Sample credits[23]
  • "Get It Off" contains a sample of Strafe's 1984 "Set It Off".
  • "So Gone" contains a sample of The Whispers' 1976 "You Are Number One".
  • "Knock Knock" contains a sample of The Masqueraders' 1976 "It's a Terrible Thing to Waste Your Love".
  • "I Wrote This Song" contains a sample of Shuggie Otis' 1970 "Aht Uh Mi He'd".
  • "All Eyez on Me" contains a sample of Michael Jackson's 1982 "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)".
  • "What Part of the Game" contains a sample of Pimp C's 1996 "Break 'Em off Somethin'.

Personnel[edit]

The following people are credited on the album:ref name="dicogs"/>

Managerial

Performance credits

Visuals and imagery

Instruments

Technical and production

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2003) Peak
position
US Billboard 200[24] 1
US Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums (Billboard)[25] 2

Chart procession and succession[edit]

Preceded by
Dance with My Father by Luther Vandross
Billboard 200 number-one album
June 29 – July 5, 2003
Succeeded by
Dangerously in Love by Beyoncé

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label
United States June 17, 2003 J
Canada June 24, 2003
United Kingdom[26] June 30, 2003
Europe September 21, 2004

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Ask Billboard". Billboard.com. Archived from the original on 5 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-06. 
  2. ^ "Monica: Jingle Jamming". MTV News (MTV.com). 1 June 2000. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d Mumbi Moody, Nekesa (2003-06-27). "Monica Triumphs Over Tragedy After the Storm". Enquirer. Retrieved 2007-06-01. 
  4. ^ "Monica: It's Different Now". MTV News (MTV.com). 18 April 2001. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Superstar Monica Selects Self-Titled Album". Business Wire. 27 June 2002. Retrieved 25 November 2007. 
  6. ^ Casanova, Tara. "Music Sheet: Inspired by Tragedy: Enter Monica". Blackflix.com. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  7. ^ Salomon, Yves Erwin (5 September 2002). "Monica's 'All Eyez On Me' Due In November". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved 25 November 2007. 
  8. ^ a b "Missy, DMX, Tyrese To Give Monica's New LP Extra Oomph". MTV News. Retrieved 2006-02-10. 
  9. ^ "Monica shares life's lessons on new CD After the Storm". Jet Magazine. Retrieved 2006-02-10. 
  10. ^ "Monica After the Storm – Center Stage". Ebony Magazine. Archived from the original on 12 February 2006. Retrieved 2006-02-10. 
  11. ^ a b Kellman, Andy. "After the Storm – Monica". Allmusic. Retrieved on 2010-03-12.
  12. ^ Myers, Angela. "Monica, 'After the Storm'". Chicago Sun-Times: 11. July 13, 2003. (Transcription of original review at talk page)
  13. ^ a b Jones, Vanessa (July 18, 2003). "After the Storm Review". Entertainment Weekly: 76–77. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  14. ^ a b Sullivan, Caroline (July 3, 2003). "CD: Monica: After the Storm". The Guardian. Retrieved on 2010-03-12.
  15. ^ a b Nichols, Natalie (June 22, 2003). "Maybe she's too quick to move on". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2010-03-12.
  16. ^ Pareles, Jon (July 8, 2003). "New CD's; A Midsummer Night's Steam". The New York Times. Retrieved on 2010-03-12.
  17. ^ Hoard, Christian. "The Rolling Stone Album Guide". Rolling Stone: 553. November 2, 2004.
  18. ^ Jones, Steve. "Monica's 'Storm' brews; Hall weathers less well; Quirky 'Anthology' is antidote for 'Idol' amateurs ". USA Today: D.06. June 17, 2003.
  19. ^ Stewart, Allison (August 12, 2003). "22 Going on 40 or Not". The Village Voice. Retrieved on 2010-03-12.
  20. ^ Robson, Britt. "Quick Spins (Monica: After the Storm)". The Washington Post: June 25, 2003. (Transcription of original review at talk page)
  21. ^ "Ask Billboard". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2006-02-10. 
  22. ^ "Monica Sees What It's Like To Be DMX's Mistress On Likely Next Single". Vh1.com. Retrieved 2006-02-11. 
  23. ^ "After the Storm". Discogs. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  24. ^ "Monica Album & Song Chart History" Billboard 200 for Monica. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2013-12-08.
  25. ^ "Monica Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums for Monica. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2013-12-08.
  26. ^ "Monica – After the Storm". hmv.com. Retrieved 2008-08-23. 

External links[edit]