Because I Love It
|Because I Love It|
|Studio album by Amerie|
|Released||May 11, 2007|
Wonderland Studios |
(Jersey City, New Jersey)
|Singles from Because I Love It|
Because I Love It is the third studio album by American singer Amerie, released on May 11, 2007 by Columbia Records. In the United States, the album was released exclusively through retailers such as Walmart and f.y.e., before its physical release was officially made available on September 30, 2008, by which point all future singles and promotion had been scrapped due to Amerie's departure from Columbia Records. As a result, the album failed to chart on the US Billboard 200, being Amerie's only studio album to do so. Nevertheless, the album was a moderate success in Europe and Japan, and has been certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).
The recording sessions for Because I Love It started in 2005. It was originally titled None of the Above and scheduled for late 2006; however, plans were changed. The album was finished in early 2007. Amerie's first mixtape Because I Love It, Vol. 1 was also released. However, the album was not released in the United States until 2008, and Amerie was dropped from Columbia Records and Sony Urban Music due to low sales of Because I Love It and the low performance of its singles "Take Control", "Gotta Work" and "That's What U R".
Because I Love It is primarily a R&B album, also comprising funk, soul and hip hop. Tracks like "Some Like It" and "Crazy Wonderful" also contain elements from 1980s music. The album was executively produced by Amerie and her husband-manager Lenny Nicholson and produced by Bryan-Michael Cox, The Buchanans, Cee-Lo Green, Quran Goodman, Destro, One Up, Chris & Drop, Mike Caren, Curtis "C Note" Richardson, Bink!, Kore & Bellek and Rich Harrison. Harrison didn't produce the new tracks on the album, however, he produced the international edition bonus track and a huge hit "1 Thing" (2005). Also, Amerie co-wrote all of the tracks on the album.
Because I Love It was the final album by Amerie to be released through Columbia Records, also her first not to be released through Harrison's recording label Richcraft Records. It was also Amerie's final album to be released through Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment before Amerie signed a recording contract with Universal Music Group's Def Jam Recordings and Island Records in 2008.
Release and promotion
Because I Love It was released for the UK iTunes Store on May 11, 2007, through Columbia Records. It was released physically on May 14, 2007 in United Kingdom. It was released in Japan two days later and in Europe on May 28. It was released on Walmart.com on July 3, 2007 and on FYE on January 15, 2008, both for digital download. It wasn't released physically in North America until September 30, 2008, but before the release she left Columbia. Because of this, album wasn't promoted in United States. Worldwide, Because I Love It was promoted with three singles: "Take Control", "Gotta Work" and "That's What U R".
"Take Control" was released as the lead single from the album on October 17, 2006. Its accompanying music video debuted in the United States in December 2006. The song peaked at number sixty-six on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs but was considerably more successful overseas, reaching number ten in the United Kingdom. The official remix featured South Korean pop singer Seven and was featured as a bonus track on the East Asian edition of the album.
"Gotta Work" was released as the album's second single outside the United States on April 14, 2007. It was used to help promote TNT's coverage of the 2008 NBA All-Star Game in the United States, and AXN Television in Asia. The single peaked at number twenty-one on the UK Singles Chart and number six on the UK R&B Singles Chart.
"Crush" was scheduled as the third single, but its release was cancelled. A remix of "Crush" produced by Johnny Douglas was intended to be used for the radio version of the single. Instead, "That's What U R" was released as the album's third and final single for a limited promotional-only basis on October 23, 2007. The radio version was a remix featuring rap verses by Fabolous and Slim Thug The version can be found on some Asian limited editions of Because I Love It.
Because I Love It received wide critical acclaim from various music critics. AllHipHop.com praised the album giving it five out of five stars, stating that Amerie has the "ability to convey excitement without sounding insane" but pointing out that "doesn't fit neatly into any specific genre anyway, so she might as well leave the standard R&B fare to the army of standard R&B chicks available to sing them." AllMusic also praised the album, stating that the album "lassoe[d] each song, whether it require[d] salt, sugar, heartache, delight, or any combination thereof" and further noting that "[s]he is the only female singer on the album, and hearing her backgrounds dance and swim around her leads is as moving as anything else in modern R&B". Despite mixed criticism towards its ballads, Spin praised the album's sound and called it "R&B at its most dynamic". The Observer gave it a favorable review, writing "It's no classic, but the obligatory ballads are mercifully few, allowing a series of punchy, soulpowered tracks to shine".
The Guardian lauded Amerie as "one of the greatest singers in pop music" and wrote that Because I Love It was a "spectacular work" because she "catches the fleeting thrills and momentary rushes of intensity that permeate otherwise mundane days, and stretches those feelings out across four-minute songs without ever letting up." NME described the album as "bar-raising pop" and called it a "whip-smart collection of retro R&B that's more Winehouse than Aguilera". Tim Finney of Pitchfork noted that the album's "big, risky strategic manoeuvre is a plush, post-coital riposte to Ciara's recent electro-pop revivalism, with many of the songs here investing in a deliberately frothy eighties sound that smears together Prince, Jam & Lewis, and the SOS Band", adding that "[t]he danger for [Amerie] is that in trying so hard to clinch this new style she leaves little room to assert her own individual qualities". Lou Thomas from BBC Music called the album "a mix of the sweat-drenched sublime and the saccharine ridiculous", while commenting that "[t]here's still a flavour of the percussive, filthy Washington DC Go-go sound that gives her music a satisfying and unique feel within the pop world, but at other times the sugar content will repulse all but those with the sweetest tune tooth."
Because I Love It was a moderate success but failed to repeat the success of previous studio albums All I Have (2002) and Touch (2005). It failed to chart on any United States nor Canadian chart, since it wasn't released in those countries until September 30, 2008 (more than a year after it was released worldwide). It only charted on some European charts (including Billboard's European Top 100 Albums chart, where it peaked at number fifty-six) and Japanese Oricon chart, where it peaked at number thirteen. It was success in United Kingdom. It peaked at number seventeen on UK Albums Chart and number four on UK R&B Albums Chart. It has sold over 60,000 copies in United Kingdom and was certified silver by British Phonographic Industry (BPI).
|Because I Love It — Standard edition|
|1.||"Forecast" (Intro)||Chris & Drop||1:10|
|3.||"Some Like It"||2:56|
|4.||"Make Me Believe"||3:22|
|5.||"Take Control"||Mike Caren||3:42|
|6.||"Gotta Work"||One Up||3:10|
|8.||"Crazy Wonderful"||The Buchanans||3:48|
|9.||"That's What U R"||CHRIS & Drop||3:36|
|10.||"When Loving U Was Easy"||Richardson||3:21|
|11.||"Paint Me Over"||Bink!||4:12|
|12.||"Somebody Up There"||Cox||4:45|
|Because I Love It — International edition (bonus tracks)|
|15.||"Losing U"||Kore & Bellek||3:26|
|Because I Love It — iTunes Store edition (bonus tracks)|
|16.||"Streets Alone"||Chris & Drop||4:17|
|Because I Love It — East Asian edition (bonus tracks)|
|16.||"Take Control" (featuring Seven)||Chris & Drop||3:43|
|Because I Love It — Japanese edition (bonus tracks)|
|17.||"Take Control" (Old Nick Mix)||3:44|
- Sample credits
- "Forecast (Intro)" — "Farandole" by Bob James
- "Hate 2 Love U" — "Give It Up" by Kool & the Gang
- "Some Like It" — "World's Famous" by Malcolm McLaren
- "Make Me Believe" — reworked version of the Curtis Mayfield's track of the same title
- "Take Control" — "Jimi Renda-Se" by Tom Zé and "You Make My Dreams" by Hall & Oates
- "Gotta Work" — "Hold On I'm Coming" by Mighty Dog Haynes
- "Paint Me Over" — "Mother's Theme (Mama)" by Willie Hutch
- "All Roads" — "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" by James Ingram & Patti Austin
- "1 Thing" — "Oh, Calcutta" by the Meters
- "Losing U" — "Didi" by Khaled Hadj Brahim
|European Albums (Billboard)||56|
|French Albums (SNEP)||159|
|Irish Albums (IRMA)||65|
|Japanese Albums (Oricon)||13|
|Scottish Albums (OCC)||38|
|Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)||42|
|UK Albums (OCC)||17|
|UK R&B Albums (OCC)||4|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||60,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
|Germany||May 11, 2007||Sony BMG|||
|United Kingdom||Digital download||RCA|||
|China||May 14, 2007||
|Japan||May 16, 2007||
|France||May 28, 2007|||
|United States||July 3, 2007||CD (Walmart exclusive)||Columbia|||
|January 15, 2008||CD (f.y.e. exclusive)|||
|September 30, 2008||CD|||
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