After the Storm (Monica album)

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After the Storm
After the Storm.jpg
Studio album by Monica
Released June 17, 2003 (2003-06-17)
Recorded 2002–2003
Genre R&B
Length 52:34
Label J
Monica chronology
All Eyez on Me
(2002)All Eyez on Me2002
After the Storm
The Makings of Me
(2006)The Makings of Me2006
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, first released on June 17, 2003 through J Records. Recording was handled by several producers including Jermaine Dupri, Missy Elliott, Rodney Jerkins, Jazze Pha, Soulshock & Karlin, BAM & Ryan, Bryan Michael Cox, and Kanye West. Originally intended for a 2002 release under the title All Eyez on Me, the album was delayed numerous times, following the leak to Internet file-sharing services and heavy bootlegging after its Japan-wide release. Monica subsequently recorded new tracks and released the album under the new title, After the Storm.

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 gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipments of over 500,000 copies in the United States.[1] After the Storm received generally mixed to positive reviews from music critics. As of November 2014, the album has sold 1,070,000 copies in the United States.[2]


Following the release of her second album The Boy Is Mine (1998) and her contribution to "I've Got to Have It", a collaboration with Jermaine Dupri and rapper Nas, recorded for the soundtrack of the 2000 comedy film Big Momma's House, Monica took a hiatus from her recording career. During the hiatus, she tied up filming commitments on J. J. Abrams's prime time drama series Felicity and the theatrical film Boys and Girls and garnered a starring role in the MTV Films drama Love Song.[3] In an interview with MTV News amid promotion for Oscar Mayer's Jingle Jam Talent Search contest in June 2000, Monica revealed that she was planning to start work on her third album throughout the summer season, with a first single to be released by October of the same year.[4]

On 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.[5] Knot left behind a daughter from a previous relationship, who Monica took into care after going into hiatus.[6] 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.[7] Though originally expected to be released worldwide, All Eyez on Me received a wide release on October 21, 2002 in Japan only.[8] The set was initially scheduled for a US release in July 2002 and then pushed back to September before a final November 12 release date.[7][9] At the time, it was scheduled for domestic release. However, All Eyez on Me had been heavily bootlegged in Japan and become widely available through Internet file-sharing services.[5] In addition, the first single released from the project, "All Eyez on Me", experienced moderate chart success, while follow-up "Too Hood" received a lukewarm response.[5]

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.[5] 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.[10] Mýa was originally set to lend her voice to a track, but she was eventually replaced by Faith Evans; the untitled song did not, however, make the final track listing.[10] Although the album was still planned to be titled All Eyez on Me until its completion, the singer decided to change the album title to a more personal one 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.[11] "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."[12]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[13]
Chicago Sun-Times 3/4 stars[14]
Entertainment Weekly B−[15]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[16]
Los Angeles Times 2.5/4 stars[17]
The New York Times favorable[18]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2.5/5 stars[19]
USA Today 3/4 stars[20]
The Village Voice mixed[21]

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."[13] 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.[16]

Vanessa Jones from Entertainment Weekly also called the non-Elliott-produced material mediocre, noting that "super producer 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."[15] 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 After the Storm implies 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."[17]

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.[22] 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 November 2014, the record has sold 1,070,000 copies domestically.[2] 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,[23] After the Storm ultimately 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 spent 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 the 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]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of After the Storm.

Standard edition
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Intro"
  • Elliott
2. "Get It Off" (featuring Dirtbag)
  • Elliott
  • Herbet Jordan
  • Brockman
  • Steve Standard
  • Elliott
  • DJ Scratchator[a]
  • Brockman[b]
3. "So Gone"
  • Elliott
  • Kenneth Cunningham
  • Jamahl Rye
  • Zyah Ahmounel
  • Elliott
  • Spike & Jamahl[a]
4. "U Should've Known Better"
5. "Don't Gotta Go Home" (featuring DMX)
BAM & Ryan 3:55
6. "Knock Knock"
  • Elliott
  • West[a]
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
12. "That's My Man" Pha 4:34
13. "Outro"
  • Arnold
  • Elliott
  • Cunningham
  • Rye
  • Ahmounel
  • Elliott
  • Brockman


Sample credits[24]
  • "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'".


Adapted from Discogs.[24]


Performance credits

Visuals and imagery


Technical and production


Release history[edit]

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


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "Ask Billboard". Archived from the original on 5 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-06. 
  3. ^ "The Job Is Mine!". NME. 8 November 2000. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "Monica: Jingle Jamming". MTV News. 1 June 2000. Archived from the original on 2013-12-13. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d Mumbi Moody, Nekesa (2003-06-27). "Monica Triumphs Over Tragedy After the Storm". Enquirer. Retrieved 2007-06-01. 
  6. ^ "Monica: It's Different Now". MTV News. 18 April 2001. Archived from the original on 2013-12-13. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Superstar Monica Selects Self-Titled Album". Business Wire. 27 June 2002. Retrieved 25 November 2007. 
  8. ^ Casanova, Tara. "Music Sheet: Inspired by Tragedy: Enter Monica". Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  9. ^ Salomon, Yves Erwin (5 September 2002). "Monica's 'All Eyez On Me' Due In November". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved 25 November 2007. [permanent dead link]
  10. ^ a b "Missy, DMX, Tyrese To Give Monica's New LP Extra Oomph". MTV News. Archived from the original on 2007-10-01. Retrieved 2006-02-10. 
  11. ^ "Monica shares life's lessons on new CD After the Storm". Jet Magazine. Retrieved 2006-02-10. 
  12. ^ "Monica After the Storm – Center Stage". Ebony Magazine. Archived from the original on 2005-01-29. Retrieved 2006-02-10. 
  13. ^ a b Kellman, Andy. "After the Storm – Monica". Allmusic. Retrieved on 2010-03-12.
  14. ^ Myers, Angela. "Monica, 'After the Storm'". Chicago Sun-Times: 11. July 13, 2003. (Transcription of original review at talk page)
  15. ^ a b Jones, Vanessa (July 18, 2003). "After the Storm Review". Entertainment Weekly: 76–77. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  16. ^ a b Sullivan, Caroline (July 3, 2003). "CD: Monica: After the Storm". The Guardian. Retrieved on 2010-03-12.
  17. ^ a b Nichols, Natalie (June 22, 2003). "Maybe she's too quick to move on". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2010-03-12.
  18. ^ Pareles, Jon (July 8, 2003). "New CD's; A Midsummer Night's Steam". The New York Times. Retrieved on 2010-03-12.
  19. ^ Hoard, Christian. "The Rolling Stone Album Guide". Rolling Stone: 553. November 2, 2004.
  20. ^ Jones, Steve. "Monica's 'Storm' brews; Hall weathers less well; Quirky 'Anthology' is antidote for 'Idol' amateurs ". USA Today: D.06. June 17, 2003.
  21. ^ Stewart, Allison (August 12, 2003). "22 Going on 40 or Not Archived 2014-07-12 at the Wayback Machine."
  22. ^ "Ask Billboard". Retrieved 2006-02-10. 
  23. ^ "Monica Sees What It's Like To Be DMX's Mistress On Likely Next Single". Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2006-02-11. 
  24. ^ a b "After the Storm". Discogs. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  25. ^ "Monica Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  26. ^ "Monica Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  27. ^ "Billboard 200: Year End 2003". Billboard. Archived from the original on 2015-12-15. Retrieved 2017-11-11. 
  28. ^ "R&B/Hip-Hop Albums: Year End 2003". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-06-15. 
  29. ^ "R&B/Hip-Hop Albums: Year End 2004". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-06-15. 
  30. ^ "Monica – After the Storm". Archived from the original on 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2008-08-23. 

External links[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