Fear of Flying (album)

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Fear of Flying
Fear of Flying (Mýa album) coverart.jpg
Studio album by Mýa
Released April 25, 2000 (2000-04-25)
Recorded September 1999—March 2000
Genre R&B  · pop  · hip hop  · urban
Length 63:44
Label Interscope
Producer Haqq Islam (exec.)  · Mýa Harrison (exec.)  · Steve Stoute (exec.)  · Jerry Duplessis  · Damon Elliott  · Jerome "Knobody" Foster  · Wyclef Jean  · Rodney Jerkins  · Jimmy Jam  · Terry Lewis  · Tricky Stewart  · Robin Thicke  · Soulshock & Karlin  · Swizz Beatz
Mýa chronology
Mýa
(1998)
Fear of Flying
(2000)
Moodring
(2003)
Singles from Fear of Flying
  1. "The Best of Me"
    Released: March 6, 2000
  2. "Case of the Ex"
    Released: August 28, 2000
  3. "Free"
    Released: March 13, 2001

Fear of Flying is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Mýa Harrison. Released April 25, 2000 on Interscope Records, recording sessions for the album took place during late 1999 to early 2000. Harrison worked with a wide range of producers and songwriters on the album. These included Rodney Jerkins, Swizz Beatz, Wyclef Jean, Knobody, Robin Thicke, Tricky Stewart, and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis to embrace a more mature sound. Harrison described Fear of Flying as a metaphor for the ups and downs of life. Themes of the album include handling things like an adult, and knowing you must have faith to make anything happen.[1] Mýa experimented with many different genres of music, such as reggae, soul, and hip-hop, thus departing from the conventional structure of her debut studio album Mýa (1998). It was the sound of a budding composer and song stylist discovering her creative voice and reflections of being in love for the very first time, experiencing success, and the fears of fame.[2][3]

Fear of Flying spawned three singles; the Swizz Beatz-produced street savvy anthem "The Best of Me" featuring Jadakiss, "Case of the Ex" and "Free". "Case of the Ex" was an instant success worldwide, reaching the top twenty in over eight countries including United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Belgium and Netherlands; while "Free" became an international hit, reaching the top twenty in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Fear of Flying debuted at number fifteen on the Billboard 200 chart on May 13, 2000. Its first-week sales reached 72,000 copies. Upon its release, the album seemed to be suffering from the dreaded sophomore slump. The first single, "The Best of Me", under-performed on the charts, not even making it onto the pop Top 40. The follow-up, "Case of the Ex", proved to be a different matter. Interscope Records issued a commercial single for the song, which helped propel it to number two. This in turn solidified the album as a hit, and Fear of Flying was re-released on November 7, 2000 including two previously unreleased tracks.[4] The album earned a platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America on March 28, 2001 and two gold certifications by the Australian Recording Industry Association and the Canadian Recording Industry Association.

Background[edit]

Following the success of her self-titled debut studio album, Harrison quickly re-entered the recording studio to begin work on her second album. Her self-titled debut studio album spawned three Top 10 hits and garnered attention for her vocal performances on Pras' hit "Ghetto Supastar" and Blackstreet's "Take Me There". During her two years away, Mýa managed to tour with some of the biggest names in the business, both on the Smokin' Grooves tour as well as with Lilith Fair. Originally scheduled to drop at the end of February 2000, Fear of Flying featured a number of guest vocalists on the project, including TLC's Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, Jordan Knight, and Beenie Man. Harrison recorded with several different producers for this album, including She'kspere, Knobody, Tricky Stewart, and Robin Thicke. To help sign, seal, and deliver that promise, she enlisted such production mega-talent as Wyclef and Swizz Beatz of Ruff Ryders for the album, which was due on April 25.[5][6]

Title[edit]

The album's title came from a song Harrison recorded by the same name—not from Erica Jong's 1973 novel. During an interview with Billboard, Harrison spoke on behalf of the album's title and said, "I wasn't aware of the book, but someone later brought it to my attention." "I've just started reading it and have noticed a lot of similarities. Fear of Flying is a metaphor for the ups and downs of life. It's about handling things like an adult, knowing you must have faith to make anything happen."[1]

Conception[edit]

In response to the album's material, Harrison said that many of the album's songs are about female empowerment. Mýa, who did some writing on her 1998 eponymous debut album, was heavily involved in the production of Fear of Flying. "I wanted to get that hands-on experience. I was involved in every single process, from writing and recording to producing, mixing, and mastering." The album's first single "The Best of Me," featuring Jadakiss, is an uptempo tune with "a lot meanings," says Mýa. "It's talking about not letting the heat of the moment get to you, whether you're in a relationship or not. The physical can be really overwhelming and manipulative at times." The dance-oriented "Pussycats" is a nursery rhyme-influenced song produced by Wyclef Jean and Jerry Duplessis. "It may sound sexual, but it's not," says Mýa. "It's telling young females to hold off on being physical, especially with people you know aren't going to treat you right." "I'm learning that the decisions being made ultimately affect me, so I make most of them with the insight and help of other people," says Mýa. "I still have to focus on what feels good to me and what's going to work in the long run, instead of selling 20 million records or being controversial." "I want to bring people of all races and ages together," she says. "I want to create memories for them. If I can be a part of that, I'm happy." [1]

Musical content[edit]

Introduced by the words of Mýa telling her listeners to "Turn It Up", Fear of Flying opens with second single "Case of the Ex". One of many uptempo recordings on the album, the lyrics were inspired by Tricky Stewart's writing partner Traci Hale and produced by Tricky Stewart. The song itself tells the story of an ex-lover who will not go away.[7] The single reached the top ten in the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands and the top forty elsewhere in countries like Germany, New Zealand, Ireland, France, and Belgium. The song remains Mýa's biggest success to date. "Free", the third and final single from the album, was a disco-funk dance track helmed by legendary producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. The song was originally featured on the soundtrack to Jamie Foxx's movie Bait before being added to the re-release of Fear of Flying. On the charts, the track underperformed in the United States but became a success internationally, reaching the top twenty and five in the United Kingdom and Australia. Fourth track "Pussycats" is a nursery rhyme-influenced song produced by Wyclef Jean and Jerry Duplessis.[1] "Again & Again" is the album's fifth track. The song was produced by Swedish duo Bag & Arnthor with additional production from Damon Elliott and Mýa herself. It incorporates elements of rock music. The She'kspere-produced "How You Gonna Tell Me" is the album's sixth track. Written by Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs, Kandi Burruss and Mýa; the song itself tells the story of how people do not practice what they preach. "Grandma Says" is the album's seventh track and first skit of one. The skit is produced by Chucky Thompson and features comedian Chris Thomas as Mýa's grandma. Track eight, "Takin Me Over", was produced by R&B soul singer Robin Thicke and features Left Eye of TLC. "The Best of Me", the album's leading single, was produced by Swizz Beatz. The song is "about not letting the heat of the moment get to you, whether you are in a relationship or not."[1] The single underperformed, reaching number fifty in the United States on the Billboard Hot 100. "Lie Detector", another Wyclef Jean and Jerry Duplessis-produced track and the tenth song on the album, incorporates elements of reggae music. "Fear of Flying", the album's first ballad and eleventh track was produced by Jerome "Knobody" Foster and written by Teron Beal and Derrick Thompson. The song compares the story of a relationship to a person's fear to fly, unaware of the possible outcomes. "Fear of Flying (Interlude)" is the album's twelfth track and an interlude. The interlude is produced by Chucky Thompson and features Mya reciting poetry. "Now or Never" is a mid-tempo track produced by soul singer Robin Thicke and incorporates elements of 1970s soul music. "Man in My Life", the album's second ballad and fourteenth track, is a remake of Michael Jackson's "The Lady in My Life" from his biggest-selling album Thriller (1982). "Can't Believe" is the album's third ballad and fifteenth track. The track was produced by Soulshock & Karlin and written by Anthem. The Rodney Jerkins-produced "That's Why I Wanna Fight" is the album's sixteenth track. Written by Rodney Jerkins, Lashawn Daniels, and Fred Jerkins, the song was considered a single at one point by Mýa's record label Interscope. "Ride & Shake" is a bouncy uptempo song and the album's seventeenth track. The song was produced by Anthony Dent and written by Tamara Savage. "Get Over" is an outro and the album's final track. It was produced by Chucky Thompson and features Mýa singing and saying her thank yous.

Reception[edit]

Critical[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars[8]
Billboard (favorable)[9]
Entertainment Weekly C[10]
People (favorable)[11]
Q 3/5 stars[12]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[13]
The Source (favorable)[12]
Uncut 4/5 stars[12]
Vibe (favorable)[12]

Jon Azpiri of AllMusic said, "Mya's sophomore effort proves that she is a promising young talent, but still has yet to develop the chops necessary to rank among the best of R&B divas", also commenting, "Without the energy of collaborators in the mix, many of her solo tracks wander into predictability. The album relies too heavily on tepid ballads such as the title track and 'Man of My Life'. Yet songs like 'Can't Believe', "For the First Time', and 'Lie Detector' show an emotional depth that lacked in her debut."[8] Josh Tyrangiel of Entertainment Weekly gave the album a C, saying, "Mýa can sing well enough; now she needs to find something to sing about."[10] Rolling Stone magazine writer Ernest Hardy gave the album 2 stars out of 5 and wrote, "The signature quiver in Mýa's voice does give her some sonic identity, but otherwise this could be the music of Destiny's Child, Aaliyah or any of the countless interchangeable hip-hop/R&B divas"[13] while The Source gave the album a positive review, saying, "Reaching out to hip-hop heads....Mýa proves she can hold her own in this competitive game of young female musicians. She's well on her way [to] the class of elite divas".[12]

Uncut called the album "A crafted, coffee-rich affair blending soul and swing...it's a grower which oozes class." However, though Q magazine gave the album 3 stars out of 5 and wrote, "Mýa demonstrates enough sass to suggest a sunny future",[12] Vibe stated, "The starlet has decided to show off her range...as if she and her top-notch producers attempted to wipe out the competition by transforming Mýa into each of her rivals in turn...a grand tour through the ever-changing moods of female adolescence".[12]

Commercial performance[edit]

Fear of Flying debuted at number 15 on the Billboard 200 album chart and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart at number seven with first-week sales of 72,000 units sold. The album was certified platinum by the RIAA on March 28, 2001 and remained on the Billboard 200 album chart for 52 consecutive weeks. Fear of Flying has sold 1.2 million copies in the United States alone, according to Nielsen SoundScan.[14] The album was the 144th best-selling album of 2000 and the following year the 178th best-selling in the United States. Outside the United States, the album debuted or peaked at number 81 in the United Kingdom, number 39 in New Zealand, number 102 in France, number 33 in Switzerland, number 52 in Germany, number 39 in Canada and number 28 in Australia. Internationally, the album was successful as well: Fear of Flying was certified gold by the CRIA and ARIA in 2001.

In its second week, the album dropped 10 spots to number 25, selling 42,784 copies.[15] In its third week, the album dropped 15 spots to number 40, selling 33,907 copies.[16] In its fifth week, the album dropped to number 58 and fell out of Billboard's Top 50. 13 weeks after its release, the album sat at number 109 and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipments of 500,000 copies to retailers on June 8, 2000.[17] In its 14th week, the album moved up 16 spots to number 93. It moved up 6 spots to number 87 in its 15th consecutive week. In its 29th week the album leaped from numbers 82 to 68, moving 14 spots. In its 36th week, the album moved up 9 spots from numbers 74 to 65. On the Billboard 200 album chart, the album spent a total of 52 consecutive weeks.

Internationally, the album reached seven countries. In Switzerland, the album debuted at number 84, before peaking at number 33 and spent a total of 16 consecutive weeks on the Swiss Albums Chart. It debuted at number 54 on the Australian Albums Chart and reached number 28 in its 20th non-consecutive week. It spent a total of 25 non-consecutive weeks on the chart and was later certified gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association. It debuted at number 39 in New Zealand and dropped out the next week. In Germany, the album debuted at number 52 and spent a total of 16 consecutive weeks on the German Albums Chart. It debuted and peaked at number 81 on the UK Albums Chart. It failed to move up on the French Albums Chart, spending a total of 5 consecutive weeks below the chart and peaking at number 102. It debuted at number 51 on the Canadian Albums Chart and rose 12 spots to number 39 in its second week. It spent a total of 9 consecutive weeks on the chart and was later certified gold by the Canadian Recording Industry Association.

Singles[edit]

  • The first single from the album was "The Best of Me", which peaked at number fifty on the Billboard Hot 100 and number fourteen on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
  • The second single "Case of the Ex" peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and number ten on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The single became an instant success stateside and a breakthrough hit internationally. "Case of the Ex" became Mýa's second top ten hit (solo). It entered the top five in Australia and United Kingdom, the top ten in Netherlands, the top twenty in Ireland, Canada, and New Zealand, and the top forty in Germany, France, and Belgium.
  • "Free", the third and final single, peaked at number forty-two on the Billboard Hot 100 and number fifty-two on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. It was a moderate success internationally, reaching the top twenty in the United Kingdom and the top five in Australia. It also appeared on the soundtrack to the 2000 film Bait, starring Jamie Foxx.

Track listing[edit]

Original release[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Turn It Up (Intro)" Mýa Harrison Swizz Beatz 1:22
2. "Case of the Ex" Tricky Stewart, Traci Hale, Tab Tricky Stewart 3:56
3. "Ride & Shake" Anthony Dent, Tamara Savage Anthony Dent 4:00
4. "That's Why I Wanna Fight" Fred Jerkins III, LaShawn Daniels, Rodney Jerkins Rodney Jerkins 4:35
5. "Pussycats" Harrison, Jerry Duplessis, Jimmy Cozier, Wyclef Jean Jerry Duplessis & Wyclef Jean 4:21
6. "The Best of Me" (featuring Jadakiss) Harrison, Cozier, Kasseem Dean, Jason Phillips, Mashonda Tifrere, Teron Beal Swizz Beatz 4:12
7. "Lie Detector" (featuring Beenie Man) Harrison, Duplessis, Jean, Moses Davis Jerry Duplessis & Wyclef Jean 4:21
8. "How You Gonna Tell Me" Harrison, Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs, Kandi Burruss She'kspere, Kandi Burruss 3:35
9. "Grandma Says (Skit)" (featuring Chris Thomas & Nonchalant) Harrison Chucky Thompson, Harrison 0:48
10. "Takin' Me Over" (featuring Left Eye) Harrison, James Gass, Lisa Left Eye Lopes, Robert Daniels, Robin Thicke Robin Thicke 3:55
11. "Now or Never" Bobby Keyes, Gass, Daniels, Thicke Robin Thicke 3:50
12. "Fear of Flying" D.Thompson, Jerome "Knobody" Foster, Jimmy Davis, Beal Knobody 4:24
13. "Flying (Interlude)" Harrison Chucky Thompson, Harrison 0:52
14. "Can't Believe" C. Higgens, Carsten Schack, K.Karlin Soulshock & Karlin 4:16
15. "No Tears on My Pillow" Harrison, Thicke Thicke  
16. "For the First Time" Harrison, Darryl Pearson, Chucky Thompson Darryl "DAY" Pearson 4:20
17. "Man in My Life" Rod Temperton The Mercenaries, Poke & Tone 4:32
18. "Get Over (Outro)" Harrison Chucky Thompson, Harrison 2:27

Re-release[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Turn It Up (Intro)" Mýa Harrison Swizz Beatz 1:22
2. "Case of the Ex" Tricky Stewart, Traci Hale, Tab Stewart 3:56
3. "Free" Alex Richbourg, James Harris, Harrison, Terry Lewis, Tony Tolbert Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Big Jim Wright 5:21
4. "Pussycats" Harrison, Jerry Duplessis, Jimmy Cozier, Wyclef Jean Jerry Duplessis & Wyclef Jean 4:21
5. "Again & Again" Harrison, A. Bagge , A. Tennant, C. Ogalde, L. Bagge, W. Hector BAG & Arnthor, Harrison, Damon Elliott 3:29
6. "How You Gonna Tell Me" Harrison, Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs, Kandi Burruss She'kspere, Kandi Burruss 3:35
7. "Grandma Says (Skit)" (featuring Chris Thomas & Nonchalant) Harrison Chucky Thompson, Harrison 0:48
8. "Takin' Me Over" (featuring Left Eye) Harrison, James Gass, Lisa Left Eye Lopes, Robert Daniels, Robin Thicke Robin Thicke 3:55
9. "The Best of Me" (featuring Jadakiss) Harrison, Cozier, Kasseem Dean, Jason Phillips, Mashonda Tifrere, Teron Beal Swizz Beatz 4:12
10. "Lie Detector" (featuring Beenie Man) Harrison, Duplessis, Jean, Davis Jerry Duplessis & Wyclef Jean 4:25
11. "Fear of Flying" D.Thompson, Jerome "Knobody" Foster, Jimmy Davis, Beal Knobody 4:24
12. "Fear of Flying (Interlude)" Harrison Chucky Thompson, Harrison 0:52
13. "Now or Never" Bobby Keyes, Gass, Daniels, Thicke Robin Thicke 3:50
14. "Man in My Life" Rod Temperton The Mercenaries, Poke & Tone 4:32
15. "Can't Believe" C. Higgens, Carsten Schack, K.Karlin Soulshock & Karlin  
16. "That's Why I Wanna Fight" Fred Jerkins III, LaShawn Daniels, Rodney Jerkins Rodney Jerkins 4:35
17. "Ride & Shake" Anthony Dent & Tamara Savage Anthony Dent 4:00
18. "Get Over (Outro)" Harrison Chucky Thompson, Harrison 2:27

Leftover tracks[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Tour[edit]

Main article: Fear of Flying Tour

Nominations[edit]

Year Ceremony Award Result
2001 MOBO Best Album Nominated
Soul Train Music Awards Best R&B/Soul Album - Female Nominated

Personnel[edit]

Musicians[edit]

Production[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Edition(s) Label
Australia August 21, 2001 CD, LP Standard[34] Universal Music Group, Interscope Records
Germany June 19, 2000
May 8, 2001 Bonus tracks[35]
Japan April 28, 2000 Standard[36] Universal Music Japan
United States April 25, 2000 Interscope Records
November 7, 2000 Bonus tracks[37]
United Kingdom July 24, 2000 Standard[38] Polydor Records
February 21, 2001 Bonus tracks[39]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "MusicWorld | Mya". BMI.com. 2000-10-31. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  3. ^ "Mya: More Than A Songstress". W.A.N.T.S. Lifestyle. Retrieved 2010-02-09. 
  4. ^ "Fear of Flying [Bonus Tracks]". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  5. ^ "Mya Working On New LP With Wyclef, Swizz Beatz, She'kspere, More". MTV. Retrieved 2011-07-13. 
  6. ^ "mya: learning to fly". MTV. Archived from the original on 2012-11-07. Retrieved 2011-07-13. 
  7. ^ "R&B Hitmaker Tricky Stewart Talks About Writing Hits For Mya And Other Artists, And How He Got Started". songwriteruniverse. Retrieved 2010-10-30. 
  8. ^ a b Azpiri, Jon (2000-04-25). "Fear of Flying - Mya". AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  9. ^ link
  10. ^ a b Tyrangiel, Josh (2000-05-01). "Fear of Flying Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  11. ^ link
  12. ^ a b c d e f g "Mya Fear Of Flying CD". CD Universe. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  13. ^ a b Harvey, Ernest (2000-05-11). "Mya: Fear Of Flying : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2007-11-17. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  14. ^ a b "MISSING MYA". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  15. ^ "HITS Daily Double: Previous Album Sales Chart". HitsDailyDouble. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  16. ^ "HITS Daily Double: Previous Album Sales Chart". HitsDailyDouble. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  17. ^ "Mya Shoots Video For 'Best Of Me' Remix". Yahoo. Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
  18. ^ a b "Mya Battles Her Record Label Over Her New Album". Entertainment Weekly. 2016-11-20. 
  19. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Mya – Fear of Flying". Hung Medien. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  20. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 71, No. 3, May 22, 2000". Collections Canada. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  21. ^ "Lescharts.com – {{{artist}}} – {{{album}}}". Hung Medien. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  22. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  23. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Mya – Fear of Flying". Hung Medien. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  24. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Mya – Fear of Flying". Hung Medien. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  25. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  26. ^ "Mya – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Mya. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  27. ^ "Mya – Chart history" Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums for Mya. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  28. ^ "2000 Top Billboard 200 Albums". Billboard.biz. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  29. ^ "2000 Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard.biz. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  30. ^ "2001 Top Billboard 200 Albums". Billboard.biz. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  31. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2001 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  32. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Mya – Fear of Flying". Music Canada. 
  33. ^ "American album certifications – Mýa – Fear of Flying". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  34. ^ "MYA - FEAR OF FLYING - CD - musicline.de". Musicline.de. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  35. ^ "MYA - FEAR OF FLYING - CD - musicline.de". Musicline.de. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  36. ^ "Amazon.com: Fear of Flying: Mya: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  37. ^ "Amazon.com: Fear of Flying (New Version): Mya: Music: Reviews, Prices & more". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  38. ^ "Fear of Flying: Mya: Amazon.co.uk: Music". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  39. ^ "Fear of Flying: Mya: Amazon.co.uk: Music". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 

External links[edit]