In Love & War (Amerie album)

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In Love & War
Studio album by Amerie
Released November 3, 2009
(see release history)
Recorded 2008—2009
Record Plant Studios
(Hollywood, California)
Miami, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
Genre R&B, soul, hip hop, pop, funk
Length 51:43
Label Feenix Rising, Def Jam
Producer Amerie (also exec.), Antonio "L.A." Reid (exec.), Lenny Nicholson (also exec.), The Buchanans, Warryn Campbell, Bryan-Michael Cox, Sean Garrett, Eric Hudson, Jim Jonsin, Jonas Jeberg, Karma, Rico Love, M-Phazes, Teddy Riley, TrackNova
Amerie chronology
Because I Love It
(2007)
In Love & War
(2009)
Alernate cover
Album Sampler cover
Singles from In Love & War
  1. "Why R U"
    Released: June 15, 2009
  2. "Heard 'Em All"
    Released: September 15, 2009
  3. "Pretty Brown"
    Released: October 20, 2009

In Love & War is the fourth studio album by American R&B recording artist Amerie, released November 3, 2009 on Def Jam Recordings. Recording sessions for the album took place during 2008 to 2009 at Record Plant Studios in Hollywood, California and at other recording studios in Miami, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia. The album serves as Amerie's first release after leaving Columbia Records and forming her own label, Feenix Rising, which released the album under exclusive license and distribution through the Island Def Jam Music Group.

The album debuted at number 46 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling 12,500 copies in its first week. Upon its release, In Love & War received generally positive reviews from most music critics.

Background[edit]

In January 2008, Entertainment Weekly reported that Amerie had left her record label, Columbia Records,[1] and in April 2008, Amerie's name was removed from the label's roster. Recording sessions for the album took place during 2008 to 2009 at Record Plant Studios in Hollywood, California, and at other recording studios in Miami, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia.[2] On her official Twitter account, Amerie revealed that she had been secretly recording new music in Atlanta, Georgia, and that a late summer July/August release date was in the works, with a possible first single in late May or early June.[3]

In multiple interviews, Amerie confirmed that Rich Harrison, who had produced her previous work, would not be contributing to the album. At the end of April, Amerie revealed on Twitter that the album's title to be changed from Breakups to Makeups to In Love & War.[4] She also announced that the album's first single is "Why R U", which she cited with "Higher" as one of two of her favorite tracks from the album.[5]

Music[edit]

Amerie has described the album's sound as "a fusion of hip hop, soul and old school rock".[6] She spoke about the concept of In Love & War in an interview with The Green Magazine, stating:

Conceptually, I just really wanted to write about the tumultuous times of a relationship. Not so much like everything is so perfect, but looking at the more imperfect sides of love and relationships. And that’s where I came up with the title In Love & War. I also recorded a record called 'Love & War'. When I was writing it, I wasn’t really thinking about the album title, but as I was vocaling, I was just thinking 'the whole concept of love and war really encapsulates everything that I was trying to get across as far as a theme for the album.'[6]

—Amerie

The album features collaborations with rapper Fabolous and singer Trey Songz. The latter has a guest appearance on "Pretty Brown", which samples R&B group Mint Condition's "Breakin' My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)" (1991).[7] The song was produced by Australian hip hop producer M-Phazes.[7]

Release and promotion[edit]

After several delays of the album's release date in August and September, it was announced on August 13, 2009 that the album would be released in November 2009. Amerie had stated via her Twitter account that she was satisfied with the release date and that it has a special meaning to her.[8] On September 27, 2009, Amerie premiered the album cover on her official Twitter page.[9] In Love & War was released on November 3, 2009 in the United States under exclusive license by Amerie's own imprint label, Feenix Rising, which distributed it through the Island Def Jam Music Group.[10]

Three singles were released in promotion of the album, including "Why R U" on June 15, 2009,[11] "Heard 'Em All" on September 15, 2009,[12] and "Pretty Brown" on October 20, 2009.[13][14] Def Jam released a six-track album sampler containing snippets of "Higher", "Tell Me You Love Me", "Pretty Brown", and "Red Eye", as well full versions of "Heard 'Em All" and "Why R U", which had been remastered.[15] Amerie performed "Heard 'Em All" and "Higher" in November 2009 on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.[16] A music video for "More Than Love" featuring Fabolous, directed by Taj was released in January 2010.[17]

She released a remix version of the song "Heard 'Em All" for the Asian edition of In Love & War where she will collaborate with Korean girl group 4minute and rapper Junhyung of Korean boy band BEAST[18]

Reception[edit]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the United States, In Love & War debuted at number 46 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and at number 3 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.[19] By November 9, 2009, it had sold 12,421 copies in the U.S.,[20] resulting in sales of 12,500 in its first week.[21] The album also charted in the United Kingdom on the Top 40 RnB Albums at number 29 on November 15, 2009.[22]

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[23]
Robert Christgau (3-star Honorable Mention)[24]
Entertainment Weekly (B)[25]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[26]
Hot Press (3.5/5)[27]
The New York Times (favorable)[28]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[29]
Slant Magazine 3.5/5 stars[30]
USA Today 2.5/4 stars[31]
The Washington Post (favorable)[32]

Upon its release, the album received generally positive reviews from most music critics.[33] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 78, based on 8 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[33] About.com's Mark Edward Nero gave it 3½ out of 5 stars and called it "a hip, energetic album that properly showcases her singing talent".[34] Alex Denney of Yahoo! Music gave In Love & War a rating of 8/10 and lauded Amerie for her "old-skool virtues" and sound, while calling the album "an exemplary exercise in R&B songwriting and performance, brim-full of verve, spark and vigour".[35] Hot Press writer Patrick Freyne gave the album a rating of 3.5/5, writing "Amerie’s got the standard range and power of the production line diva but there’s also an appealingly raw, in need-of-some-Calpol-edge to her voice which gives everything that little bit more power".[27] The Irish Times gave it 3 out of 4 stars, writing that Amerie "approaches In Love & War with much gusto".[36]

In contrast, Steve Jones of USA Today gave the album 2½ out of 4 stars and expressed a mixed response towards its ballads, stating "The sassy funk numbers serve her best, while the mushy stuff only slows her down".[31] Despite writing favorably of its uptempo tracks, Rolling Stone's Christian Hoard gave the album 3 out of 5 stars and perceived its slower material as a weakness.[29] Boston Herald writer Lauren Carter gave In Love & War a B- rating and commended its "ambient, hip-hop-infused r & b" tracks, but wrote that "monotonous lyrics about rocky or recently ended relationships dominate the album".[37] However, Allmusic's Andy Kellman gave the album 4 out of 5 stars and wrote favorably of its ballads, calling them "as well constructed as anything earlier in the set".[23] In his consumer guide for MSN Music, critic Robert Christgau gave it a rating of honorable mention ((3-star Honorable Mention)),[24] indicating "an enjoyable effort consumers attuned to its overriding aesthetic or individual vision may well treasure".[38]

Track listing[edit]

  • All Credits
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Tell Me You Love Me"   Amerie Rogers, T. Riley, W. Scott, I. Freeman, J. Lowe Teddy Riley, Walter Scott 3:07
2. "Heard 'Em All"   Rogers, S. Garrett, E. Hudson Eric Hudson, The Pen 3:23
3. "Dangerous"   Rogers, E. Serrano, J. Jeberg, D. Sharpe, G. Lawson Jonas Jeberg, Amerie 2:48
4. "Higher"   Rogers, W. Campbell Warryn Campbell 2:52
5. "Why R U"   Rogers, S. Johnson, C. Miller, K. Thornton, H. Rooney The Buchanans, Amerie 3:17
6. "Pretty Brown" (featuring Trey Songz) Rogers, E. Serrano, K. Lewis, L. Waddell, M. Landon, S. Williams, J. Allen M-Phazes, Amerie 4:02
7. "More Than Love" (featuring Fabolous) Rogers, G. Brown, R. Bell, C. Smith, R. Mickens, R. Westfield, D. Thomas, R. Bell, J. Jackson, L. Nicholson, A. Taylor Del Pearson, Lenny Nicholson 4:14
8. "Swag Back"   Rogers, D. Siegel, J. Scheffer, J. Jonsin, R. Love Jim Jonsin, Rico Love 4:29
9. "You're a Star" (Interlude) Rogers, Len Nicholson Amerie, Lenny Nicholson 1:52
10. "Red Eye"   Rogers, B. Cox Bryan-Michael Cox, Amerie 4:11
11. "The Flowers"   Rogers, I. Barias, C. Haggins Karma, Amerie 5:16
12. "Different People"   Rogers, M. Landon M-Phazes 3:55
13. "Dear John"   Rogers, L. Nicholson, D. Richards, S. Rumsey TrackNova, Amerie 4:12
14. "Heard 'Em All" (Remix featuring Lil Wayne) D. Carter, Rogers, S. Garrett, E. Hudson Sean Garrett, Eric Hudson 3:56
Sample credits

Personnel[edit]

Credits for In Love & War adapted from liner notes.[39]

Musicians[edit]

  • Amerie – vocals, producer
  • Francesco Romano – guitar
  • David Siegel – keyboards
  • Sean Windsor – guitar
  • Larry Sommerville – keyboards

Production[edit]

Chart history[edit]

Chart (2009) Peak
position
Korean Albums Chart[40] 18
UK R&B Albums Chart[22] 29
U.S. Billboard 200[41] 46
U.S. Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[41] 3

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label(s) Format(s)
Worldwide[15] September 16, 2009 Def Jam Recordings Album sampler
United States[10] November 3, 2009 Feenix Rising, Def Jam CD, Digital download
Germany[42] November 6, 2009 Def Jam Recordings
United Kingdom[43] November 9, 2009 Mercury Records
Canada[44] November 10, 2009
Japan[45] November 11, 2009 Universal Japan
Poland[46] November 12, 2009 Universal Music
Hong Kong[47] November 20, 2009 Def Jam Recordings

References[edit]

  1. ^ Halperin, Shirley (2008-01-02). "All the acts that lost major label deals in 2007 | EW.com". Hollywoodinsider.ew.com. Retrieved 2009-09-27. 
  2. ^ Amerie, The Green Magazine, 5 September 2009
  3. ^ "Twitter / Amerie: New album, Breakups to Mak". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2009-09-27. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Twitter / Amerie: Decided to change the albu". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2009-09-27. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Twitter / Amerie: Hey everyone! I just mixed". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2009-09-27. [dead link]
  6. ^ a b The Green Magazine, Amerie, 2 September 2009
  7. ^ a b "NEW AMERIE VIDEO TO PREMIERE ON BET: 'Why R U' marks singer's return after two year hiatus". EURweb.com. 2009-06-04. Retrieved 2009-09-27. 
  8. ^ "Twitter / Amerie: Very happy w/my album date". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2009-09-27. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Twitter / Amerie: In Love & War cover!:) A". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2009-09-27. [dead link]
  10. ^ a b "In Love & War: Amerie: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2009-09-27. 
  11. ^ "Why R U | Discography | Amerie | Artists | Def Jam". Island Def Jam. 2009-06-15. Retrieved 2009-10-31. 
  12. ^ "Heard 'Em All (Single) | Discography | Amerie | Artists | Def Jam". Island Def Jam. 2009-09-15. Retrieved 2009-10-31. 
  13. ^ "Single Cover: Amerie – ‘Pretty Brown’". Rap-Up.com. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  14. ^ "Radio1 - USA Forthcoming Singles". Radio1.gr. Retrieved 2009-10-26. 
  15. ^ a b "In Love & War Sampler | Discography | Amerie | Artists | Def Jam". Island Def Jam. 2009-09-16. Retrieved 2009-09-27. 
  16. ^ "Dont Miss Amerie Performing Live Tonight On Jimmy Kimmel Live On ABC! | News | Amerie | Artists | Def Jam". Island Def Jam. 2009-11-10. Retrieved 2010-02-27. 
  17. ^ "Video: Amerie More Than Love Feat. Fabolous | News | Amerie | Artists | Def Jam". Island Def Jam. 2010-01-06. Retrieved 2010-02-27. 
  18. ^ "에이머리(Amerie)와 포미닛, 새 앨범서 환상 호흡!". The Star.chosun.com (in Korean). February 4, 2010. Archived from the original on March 12, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-18. 
  19. ^ "Music Albums, Top 200 Albums & Music Album Charts". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  20. ^ Previous Album Sales Chart: 11/09/2009. HITS Daily Double. Retrieved on 2009-11-27.
  21. ^ Columnist. US Charts Review. Trace TV. Retrieved on 2009-11-27.
  22. ^ a b UK Top 40 RnB Albums: 15 November 2009. BBC Radio 1. Retrieved on 2009-11-27. Non-archived. BBC
  23. ^ a b Kellman, Andy. Review: In Love & War. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-11-05.
  24. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide: In Love & War". MSN Music: January 2010.
  25. ^ Vozick, Simon. Review: In Love & War. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2009-11-05.
  26. ^ Sullivan, Caroline. Review: In Love & War. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2009-11-05.
  27. ^ a b Freyne, Patrick. Review: In Love & War. Hot Press. Retrieved on 2009-11-27.
  28. ^ Pareles, Jon. Review: In Love & War. The New York Times. Retrieved on 2009-11-03.
  29. ^ a b Hoard, Christian. Review: In Love & War. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2009-11-05.
  30. ^ Keefe, Jonathan. Review: In Love & War. Slant Magazine. Retrieved on 2009-11-08.
  31. ^ a b Jones, Steve. Review: In Love & War. USA Today. Retrieved on 2010-06-17.
  32. ^ Godfrey, Sarah. Review: In Love & War. The Washington Post. Retrieved on 2009-11-04.
  33. ^ a b In Love & War (2009): Reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2009-11-05.
  34. ^ Nero, Mark Edward. Review: In Love & War. About.com. Retrieved on 2009-11-06.
  35. ^ Denney, Alex. Review: In Love & War. Yahoo! Music. Retrieved on 2009-11-17.
  36. ^ Carroll, Jim. Review: In Love & War. The Irish Times. Retrieved on 2009-11-27.
  37. ^ Carter, Lauren. Review: In Love & War. Boston Herald. Retrieved on 2009-11-06.
  38. ^ Christgau, Robert. CG Keys to Icons. Robert Christgau. Retrieved on 2009-12-29.
  39. ^ In Love & War (Media notes). Amerie. Def Jam Recordings. 2009. 6-02527-13364-5. 
  40. ^ ":: 가온차트와 함께하세요 ::". Gaonchart.co.kr. Retrieved 2012-02-24. 
  41. ^ a b http://www.billboard.com/artist/278898/amerie/chart
  42. ^ "In Love & War: Amerie: Amazon.de: Musik". Amazon.de. Retrieved 2009-10-26. 
  43. ^ HMV UK release date, 3 September 2009
  44. ^ "In Love & War: Amerie: Amazon.ca: Music". Amazon.ca. Retrieved 2009-10-29. 
  45. ^ In Love &War (CD) -Amerie. Retrieved 2009-11-7.
  46. ^ "In Love & War: Amerie: Fan.pl". Fan.pl. 
  47. ^ AMERIE - IN LOVE & WAR. Retrieved 2009-11-7.

External links[edit]