|Single by Amerie|
|from the album Because I Love It|
|B-side||"Crunk Didi (Losing U)"
"That's What U R"
|Released||December 2006 (U.S.)
April 23, 2007 (UK – download)
May 7, 2007 (UK – CD)
May 28, 2007 (France – CD)
|Format||CD single, digital download, 12" single|
|Writer(s)||Cee-Lo Green, Mike Caren, Amerie Mi Marie, Tom Zé, Valdez, Daryl Hall, John Oates, Sara Allen|
|Amerie singles chronology|
"Take Control" is a song by American R&B singer-songwriter Amerie from her third studio album, Because I Love It (2007). Written by Cee-Lo Green, Mike Caren, and Amerie and released as the album's lead single in late 2006, the Caren-produced track contains excerpts from Brazilian musician Tom Zé's 1970 song "Jimmy, Renda-se", written by Tom Zé and Valdez, and elements of Hall & Oates' 1980 song "You Make My Dreams", written by Daryl Hall, John Oates, and Sara Allen.
After Cee-Lo wrote the song, he approached Amerie to record it. Amerie said she did not normally do commissions and record other people's songs because they did not work for her, but because she had "always loved" Cee-Lo since his time with Goodie Mob, she agreed. She felt the song was not uptempo enough to suit her, so she wrote a hook, a bridge, and added a horn section to add to the song her "signature" and "a different flavour", making it a "dance record".
Release and reception
Many critics gave "Take Control" positive reviews; Rolling Stone, for example, placed "Take Control" on its top 100 songs of the year list at number ninety-eight. Another popular magazine, Entertainment Weekly, stated "Take Control may be an ode to submission, but it hardly holds back." The Village Voice named "Take Control" the fifth best single release of the fourth quarter of 2006, commenting on "how great Amerie's joyous chirp sounds over sharp, percussive old-school funk tracks. Here, Cee-Lo laces her with spy-movie guitars and horn-stabs and a drum track that keeps building and building, adding on congas and handclaps and tambourines without ever disturbing the tense little groove at the song's center ... and Amerie finally finds room for a bit of grit in her voice." The Guardian wrote, "it twitches and jerks along a nagging Tom Zé sample, but it's a song with such a sparse arrangement that interest has to be sustained entirely by the voice, which Amerie does spectacularly, making it absolutely clear who is really cracking the whip."
According to Amerie, "Some Like It" was originally chosen as the first single from Because I Love It; after the release of similar-sounding singles by Kelis ("Bossy"), Fergie ("London Bridge"), and Justin Timberlake ("SexyBack"), and because Amerie thought "Take Control" was "kind of different", the decision was made to release it as the lead single instead. The single debuted at number seventy-two on the U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and peaked at number sixty-six; it failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. After the failure of the single, the U.S. release of Because I Love It was pushed back repeatedly. In the United Kingdom the song debuted on the C-list section of BBC Radio 1's playlist and was Scott Mills's "Record of the Week" from March 26 to April 1, before moving up to the A-list. "Take Control" peaked at number ten on the UK Singles Chart, remaining in the top forty for six weeks.
Music video and remixes
The music video was shot in late October 2006 and was premiered on the Internet on December 3. It was released to television in the United States on January 15, 2007 and was selected as MTV Jams's "Jam of the Week". Directed by Scott Franklin, it borrows greatly from Michelangelo Antonioni's 1966 film Blowup, with some of the key scenes recreated in a contemporary setting. Unlike the film, however, flashing captions onscreen make the assassination involved more obvious. Amerie and some acolytes are shown removing the photographer's blowups from his apartment, which is implied but not shown in the film. The video has a short introduction that involves Amerie singing another song from Because I Love It, "That's What U R". A writer for Entertainment Weekly called the video "nonsense, just the way I like my music videos to be" and "the stuff that music video dreams are made of ... [it] pretends to make sense by taking on something more complex than Amerie shimmying around in hot pants and heels, but don't let it fool you. The hair tossing and strut-strutting is the same here as it is in "1 Thing", just on location this time—in a car, a park, a house with a sexy man sleeping under rumpled sheet, etc. Love it!"
At the end of March 2007, a remix of "Take Control" by DJ Camille Starr, and featuring British-Asian vocalist S-Endz, began to circulate on the internet. It is a bhangra-fused club remix of the song. The official radio remix featuring South Korean singer Se7en was aired in May 2007, and it is only to be featured on the Asian editions of Because I Love It. Other versions include Tracy Young's Taking Control mix and the Karmatronic mix.
Track listings and formats
- Ezugwu, Emmanuel BoyWonder. "Amerie: Takes Control (Part 2)". So-Urban.com. March 16, 2007. Retrieved July 30, 2007.
- Swift, Jacqui. "'I'd like to write for Britney'". The Sun. May 11, 2007. Retrieved July 30, 2007.
- "The 100 Best Songs of the Year". Rolling Stone. December 8, 2006. Retrieved July 30, 2007.
- Dombal, Ryan. "Download This - 'Control'-ing Interest". Entertainment Weekly. October 23, 2006. Retrieved July 30, 2007.
- Breihan, Tom. "The Quarterly Report: Best New Singles". The Village Voice. January 3, 2007. Retrieved July 31, 2007.
- Macpherson, Alex. "Amerie, Because I Love It". The Guardian. May 11, 2007. Retrieved July 31, 2007.
- "What Made Amerie Switch Up Her Game? And... Does Cherish Appreciate Their Fans?". SOHH Soulful. December 2006. Retrieved July 30, 2007.
- "Amerie > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-08-08.
- Breihan, Tom. "The Battle for the Heart of R&B". The Village Voice. June 7, 2007. Retrieved July 31, 2007.
- "Amerie – Take Control – Music Charts". αCharts.us. Retrieved 2007-07-30.
- Devan, Subhadra. "Amerie's in Control". New Straits Times. July 22, 2007. Retrieved July 30, 2007.
- "NEW RELEASE: Amerie "Take Control"". Video Static. January 9, 2007. Retrieved July 30, 2007.
- Jung, Helin. "Popwatch Blog - Snap Judgment: Amerie's 'Take Control' video". Entertainment Weekly. December 8, 2006. Retrieved July 30, 2007.
- "European Hot 100 Singles". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-01-10.[dead link]
- Deutsche Black Charts (updated weekly)
- "RADIO TOP100 Oficiálna". IFPI (in Slovak). Retrieved 2008-01-18.
- "Billboard Türkiye Top 20". Türkiye Billboard (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 2008-04-20. Retrieved 2008-04-11.