Beautiful Surprise

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Beautiful Surprise
Beautiful Surprise.JPG
Studio album by Tamia
Released August 28, 2012
Recorded 2010–2012
Genre
Length 43:52
Label
Producer
Tamia chronology
Between Friends
(2006)
Beautiful Surprise
(2012)
Love Life
(2015)
Singles from Beautiful Surprise
  1. "Beautiful Surprise"
    Released: March 2, 2012
  2. "Give Me You"
    Released: November 19, 2012

Beautiful Surprise is the fifth studio album by Canadian recording artist Tamia. It was released by her own label, Plus One Music Group, and distributed by EMI and Capitol Records on August 28, 2012 in the United States.The singer worked with various producers on the album, including Claude Kelly, The Runners, Carvin & Ivan, Salaam Remi, and J. Phoenix.

The album debuted at number six on US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums with first week sales of 41,521 copies. It received a nomination for Best R&B Album at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards, which was held in February 2013, while the first single from the album, its title track, received a nomination for Best R&B Song. In support of the album, Tamia went on tour with R. Kelly from October through December 2012.

Background[edit]

In 2004, Elektra Records released Tamia's third studio album, More. Her highest-charting release yet, it debuted at number seventeen on the US Billboard 200 and at number four on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, selling 58,000 copies in its first week. More was eventually certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and spawned the top forty single "Officially Missing You".[1] The follow ing year, Tamia split from Elektra and founded her own record label, Plus 1 Music Group.[1] The first record to be released on the company was her fourth studio album Between Friends (2006).[1]

Tamia's fifth studio album was recorded in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami and Nashville.[2] She consulted producers Salaam Remi, The Runners, J. Phoenix and frequent collaborator Shep Crawford to help work on the album. In addition to co-writing most of the songs, Tamia doubled as executive producer with Claude Kelly, marking the first time the pair worked together.[2] She also collaborated with country producer Luke Laird on the Wynonna Judd cover "Is It Over Yet" and an updated version of her 2004 single "Still". Commenting on her decision to work with Laird, she said that "I've always loved country music. I like the challenge of doing things outside the box."[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
About.com 3/5 stars[4]
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[5]
New York Times (positive)[6]

Beautiful Surprise received generally mixed reviews from music critics, many of whom praised Tamia's vocal performances but found the material too generic and formulaic. New York Times felt that Beautiful Surprise is "wisely out of step with her surroundings, even if not always successfully so [...] Too often on this album Tamia undermines herself and pulls back from her biggest notes. These largely pro forma R&B songs turn out to be concessions — to genre, to age, to expectations. The true highlights of this album are the left turns".[6]

Andy Kellman from Allmusic found that Beautiful Surprise "won't take any listeners by surprise. The album is split between upbeat but refined contemporary R&B and theatrical adult contemporary ballads [...] At best, the album is pleasant and especially relatable to those who are enduring or moving beyond relationships. However, few of these songs would be worthy of a concise Tamia best-of compilation."[5] Similarly, Mark Edward Nero from About.com wrote that "only halfway [of the album] lives up to its name. Tamia and her voice are indeed beautiful, but to tell the truth, there's no real surprises to be heard here. Quite the opposite, in fact: Beautiful Surprise is chock full of formulaic songs that are too watered down to truly be considered R&B music."[4]

Commercial reception[edit]

Beautiful Surprise was released in the US on August 28, 2012; it debuted and peaked at number 23 on the Billboard 200 album chart with first week sales of 13,000 copies.[7] In addition, the album reached the top ten of both the Billboard Independent Albums chart and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, peaking at number 4 on number 6, respectively.[2] It marked her highest-charting entry after 2004's More.[2] Commenting on its commercial success, Tamia elaborated, "considering I don't have a television show or anything else like that pushing the music, this is definitely a testament to R&B and its fans. Fans are out there supporting the music."[2] The album has sold 65,000 copies in the US as of May 2015.[8]

The album received a Grammy Award nomination for Best R&B Album in 2013.[9] To promote her Beautiful Surprise, Tamia performed as an opening act on R. Kelly's Single Ladies Tour.[2] The album's first single, "Beautiful Surprise", became her biggest hit in a decade, reaching number 24 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[2] It earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best R&B Song.[9] The album's second and final single, "Give Me You", was less successful but became a top twenty hit on the Adult R&B Songs chart.[2]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Lose My Mind"
4:00
2. "Give Me You"
  • Kelly
  • Andre Brissett
  • Brissett
  • Kelly[B]
3:34
3. "It's Not Fair"
  • Kelly
3:52
4. "Believe in Love"
  • Hill
  • Kelly
  • Harr
  • Jackson
  • The Runners
  • Kelly[B]
3:30
5. "Beautiful Surprise"
  • Salaam Remi
  • Kelly[B]
3:37
6. "Is It Over Yet"
  • Billy Kirsch
3:58
7. "Love I'm Yours"
  • Hill
  • Anthony Crawford
  • Shep Crawford
5:28
8. "Him"
4:04
9. "Still Love You" 3:21
10. "Because of You"
  • Crawford
  • Crawford
  • Hill[B]
4:21
11. "Still"
  • Laird
  • Kelly[B]
4:07
Notes and sample credits

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2012) Peak
position
US Billboard 200[10] 23
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[11] 4
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[12] 6

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Mitchell, Gail (2014-08-22). "Tamia Signs With Def Jam Ahead of New Album". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2015-05-11. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Mitchell, Gail (2012-09-22). "Tamia Returns After Six-Year Hiatus With 'Beautiful Surprise'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2015-05-11. 
  3. ^ Williams, Brennan (2012-03-13). "Tamia Talks: New Album, 'Beautiful Surprise,' 'Basketball Wives' And Grant Hill". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2015-05-11. 
  4. ^ a b Nero, Mark Edward (2015-06-12). "Review: Tamia - 'Beautiful Surprise'". About.com. Retrieved 2015-06-13. 
  5. ^ a b Kellman, Andy. Beautiful Surprise at AllMusic. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Pareles, Jon; Caramanica, Jon; Chinen, Nate; Ratliffaug, Ben (2012-08-27). "Music From Yeasayer, Tamia, Lionel Loueke and Divine Fits". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-06-13. 
  7. ^ Santiago, Karinah (2012-06-06). "Chart Juice: Slaughterhouse Debuts at No. 1 on R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, Tamia Returns". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2015-05-21. 
  8. ^ "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on May 15, 2015. 
  9. ^ a b Sisariodec, Ben (2013-12-04). "Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Dominate Grammy Nominations". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-06-14. 
  10. ^ "Tamia – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Tamia. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  11. ^ "Tamia – Chart history" Billboard Independent Albums for Tamia. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  12. ^ "Tamia – Chart history" Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums for Tamia. Retrieved February 17, 2015.

External links[edit]