Between Friends is the fourth studio album by Canadian singer Tamia, first released by Gallo Records in South Africa on May 12, 2006 (see 2006 in music). The album was released on November 14, 2006 in the United States and on November 20, 2006 in the United Kingdom (In HMV stores) on Image Entertainment. Between Friends was entirely produced by Shep Crawford, besides three tracks by Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins. It peaked at number 66 on the US Billboard Hot 200 selling 18,000 copies in its first week. To date[when?] it has sold about 370,000 copies in the US, 120,000 in South Africa and more than 800,000 worldwide. A Gift Between Friends is a 2-disc album comprising a re-release of Between Friends and featuring some new Christmas songs by Tamia. It was released on October 27, 2007.
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. In addition, it spawned the R&B top forty single "Officially Missing You". The same year, following its sale by Time Warner, Elektra merged with Atlantic Records, another Warner Music Group label, to form the Atlantic Records Group. At about the same time, Tamia's recording deal was up for renewal; though she was in a position to re-sign with the label, she chose to leave the company following her transition. In order to gain more creative control over future projects, she decided to found her own record label, Plus One Music Group.
As Tamia was able to arrange deals with international distributors at different times, Between Friends was first released by Gallo Records in South Africa on May 12, 2006 – several months before its arrival in the United States, Tamia's main selling market. Elsewhere, the album was released in November and December 2006 on Image Entertainment, featuring four additional tracks, including "Have to Go Through It", a duet with Eric Benet, and the single "Me".
Between Friends received generally mixed to positive reviews from music critics. Allmusic wrote that "with production help from Shep Crawford and Rodney Jerkins, Between Friends offers up a range of tracks, including bouncy club numbers, sensual love songs, and mainstream pop and R&B. But while the music sounds great, it is Tamia's instrument that takes center stage throughout," adding that the album "is packed to the gills with displays of the artist's spectacular, elastic vocal talent." In his review for About.com writer Mark Edward Nero remarked that on Between Friends, "Tamia fails to do enough to distinguish herself from the legions of other pretty-faced/moderately talented singers out there". He felt that her "clear, strong voice" lacked "strong emotive abilities, a wide vocal range, distinctive singing style and much of a personality".