In Love & War (Amerie album)

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In Love & War
AmerieLoveAndWar.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 3, 2009
Recorded2008—09
Studio
Genre
Length51:43
Label
Producer
Amerie chronology
Because I Love It
(2007)
In Love & War
(2009)
Drive
(2016)
Alternative cover
Prelude to In Love & War album sampler cover
Prelude to In Love & War album sampler cover
Singles from In Love & War
  1. "Why R U"
    Released: June 15, 2009
  2. "Heard 'Em All"
    Released: September 15, 2009
  3. "Pretty Brown"
    Released: October 20, 2009

In Love & War is the fourth studio album by American R&B recording artist Amerie, released November 3, 2009 on Def Jam Recordings. Recording sessions for the album took place between 2008 and 2009 at Record Plant Studios in Hollywood, California and at other recording studios in Miami, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia. The album serves as Amerie's first release after leaving Columbia Records and forming her own label, Feenix Rising, which released the album under exclusive license and distribution through the Island Def Jam Music Group.

The album debuted at number forty-six on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 12,500 copies in its first week. Upon its release, In Love & War received generally positive reviews from most music critics.

Background[edit]

In January 2008, Entertainment Weekly reported that Amerie had left her record label, Columbia Records,[1] and in April 2008, Amerie's name was removed from the label's roster. Recording sessions for the album took place during 2008 to 2009 at Record Plant Studios in Hollywood, California, and at other recording studios in Miami, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia.[2] On her official Twitter account, Amerie revealed that she had been secretly recording new music in Atlanta, Georgia, and that a late summer July/August release date was in the works, with a possible first single in late May or early June.[3]

In multiple interviews, Amerie confirmed that Rich Harrison, who had produced her previous work, would not be contributing to the album. At the end of April, Amerie revealed on Twitter that the album's title to be changed from Breakups to Makeups to In Love & War.[4] She also announced that the album's first single is "Why R U", which she cited with "Higher" as one of two of her favorite tracks from the album.[5]

Music[edit]

Amerie has described the album's sound as "a fusion of hip hop, soul and old school rock".[6] She spoke about the concept of In Love & War in an interview with The Green Magazine, stating:

Conceptually, I just really wanted to write about the tumultuous times of a relationship. Not so much like everything is so perfect, but looking at the more imperfect sides of love and relationships. And that’s where I came up with the title In Love & War. I also recorded a record called 'Love & War'. When I was writing it, I wasn’t really thinking about the album title, but as I was vocaling, I was just thinking 'the whole concept of love and war really encapsulates everything that I was trying to get across as far as a theme for the album.'[6]

— Amerie

The album features collaborations with rapper Fabolous and singer Trey Songz. The latter has a guest appearance on "Pretty Brown", which samples R&B group Mint Condition's "Breakin' My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)" (1991).[7] The song was produced by Australian hip hop producer M-Phazes.[7]

Title and artwork[edit]

The album was originally titled Breakups to Makeups. However, in April 2009, Amerie announced that the album's title would be In Love & War via her official Twitter account. The full-length album artwork was illustrated by David Bray and photographed by Tim Bret-Day.[8] Album sampler EP's artwork is different than the album's. The sampler was titled Prelude to In Love & War and was released in September 2009.

Release and promotion[edit]

After several delays of the album's release date in August and September, it was announced on August 13, 2009 that the album would be released in November 2009. Amerie had stated via her Twitter account that she was satisfied with the release date and that it has a special meaning to her.[9] On September 27, 2009, Amerie premiered the album cover on her official Twitter page.[10] In Love & War was released on November 3, 2009 in the United States under exclusive license by Amerie's own imprint label, Feenix Rising, which distributed it through the Island Def Jam Music Group.[11]

Three singles were released in promotion of the album, including "Why R U" on June 15, 2009,[12] "Heard 'Em All" on September 15, 2009,[13] and "Pretty Brown" on October 20, 2009.[14][15] Def Jam released a six-track album sampler containing snippets of "Higher", "Tell Me You Love Me", "Pretty Brown", and "Red Eye", as well full versions of "Heard 'Em All" and "Why R U", which had been remastered.[16] Amerie performed "Heard 'Em All" and "Higher" in November 2009 on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.[17] A music video for "More Than Love" featuring Fabolous, directed by Taj was released in January 2010.[18]

She released a remix version of the song "Heard 'Em All" for the Asian edition of In Love & War where she will collaborate with Korean girl group 4minute and rapper Junhyung of Korean boy band BEAST[19]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the United States, In Love & War debuted at number forty-six on the U.S. Billboard 200 and at number three on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.[20] By November 9, 2009, it had sold 12,421 copies in the United States,[21] resulting in sales of 12,500 in its first week.[22] The album also charted in the United Kingdom on the UK R&B Albums at number twenty-nine on November 15, 2009.[23] In 2010, it peaked at number eighteen on the South Korean Gaon Albums Chart.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[24]
Robert Christgau(3-star Honorable Mention)[25]
Entertainment Weekly(B)[26]
The Guardian4/5 stars[27]
Hot Press(3.5/5)[28]
The New York Times(favorable)[29]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[30]
Slant Magazine3.5/5 stars[31]
USA Today2.5/4 stars[32]
The Washington Post(favorable)[33]

Upon its release, the album received generally positive reviews from most music critics.[34] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of hundred to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of seventy-eight, based on eight reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[34] About.com's Mark Edward Nero gave it 3½ out of five stars and called it "a hip, energetic album that properly showcases her singing talent".[35] Alex Denney of Yahoo! Music gave In Love & War a rating of eight out of ten and lauded Amerie for her "old-skool virtues" and sound, while calling the album "an exemplary exercise in R&B songwriting and performance, brim-full of verve, spark and vigour".[36] Hot Press writer Patrick Freyne gave the album a rating of three and a half out of five, writing "Amerie’s got the standard range and power of the production line diva but there’s also an appealingly raw, in need-of-some-Calpol-edge to her voice which gives everything that little bit more power".[28] The Irish Times gave it three out of four stars, writing that Amerie "approaches In Love & War with much gusto".[37]

In contrast, Steve Jones of USA Today gave the album 2½ out of four stars and expressed a mixed response towards its ballads, stating "The sassy funk numbers serve her best, while the mushy stuff only slows her down".[32] Despite writing favorably of its uptempo tracks, Rolling Stone's Christian Hoard gave the album three out of five stars and perceived its slower material as a weakness.[30] Boston Herald writer Lauren Carter gave In Love & War a B- rating and commended its "ambient, hip-hop-infused R&B" tracks, but wrote that "monotonous lyrics about rocky or recently ended relationships dominate the album".[38] However, AllMusic's Andy Kellman gave the album four out of five stars and wrote favorably of its ballads, calling them "as well constructed as anything earlier in the set".[24] In his consumer guide for MSN Music, critic Robert Christgau gave it a rating of honorable mention ((3-star Honorable Mention)),[25] indicating "an enjoyable effort consumers attuned to its overriding aesthetic or individual vision may well treasure".[39]

Track listing[edit]

In Love & War — Standard edition
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Tell Me You Love Me"
  • Riley
  • Scott
3:07
2."Heard 'Em All"
3:23
3."Dangerous"
  • Rogers
  • Jeberg
2:48
4."Higher"Campbell2:52
5."Why R U"
3:17
6."Pretty Brown" (featuring Trey Songz)
4:02
7."More Than Love" (featuring Fabolous)
4:14
8."Swag Back"
  • Jonsin
  • Love
4:29
9."You're a Star" (Interlude)
  • Rogers
  • Nicholson
  • Rogers
  • Nicholson
1:52
10."Red Eye"
  • Rogers
  • Cox
4:11
11."The Flowers"
5:16
12."Different People"
  • Rogers
  • Landon
M-Phazes3:55
13."Dear John"
  • Rogers
  • TrackNova
4:12
14."Heard 'Em All" (Remix featuring Lil Wayne)
  • Garrett
  • Hudson
3:56
Total length:51:43
Sample credits

Personnel[edit]

Credits for In Love & War adapted from liner notes.[42]

Musicians[edit]

  • Amerie – vocals, producer
  • Francesco Romano – guitar
  • David Siegel – keyboards
  • Sean Windsor – guitar
  • Larry Sommerville – keyboards

Production[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2009–10) Peak
position
Korean Albums (Gaon)[43] 18
UK R&B Albums (OCC)[44] 29
US Billboard 200[45] 46
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[46] 3

Release history[edit]

List of release dates, showing region, edition, record label(s), format(s), catalog number and reference(s).
Region Date Edition Label(s) Format(s) Catalog Ref.
Worldwide September 16, 2009 Album Sampler Def Jam EP REV1 10021 [16][47]
United States November 3, 2009 Standard
  • Feeniix Rising
  • Def Jam
B001322502 [11][48]
Germany November 6, 2009 Universal Music 06025271133645 [49][8]
United Kingdom November 9, 2009 [50][8]
Canada November 10, 2009 Universal Music B002DSM8TS [51]
Japan November 11, 2009 UICD 6166 [52][53]
Poland November 12, 2009 06025271133645 [54][8]
Hong Kong November 20, 2009 N/A [55]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Halperin, Shirley (2008-01-02). "All the acts that lost major label deals in 2007 | EW.com". Hollywoodinsider.ew.com. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
  2. ^ Amerie, The Green Magazine, 5 September 2009
  3. ^ "Twitter / Amerie: New album, Breakups to Mak". Twitter.com. Archived from the original on 2014-02-16. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
  4. ^ "Twitter / Amerie: Decided to change the album". Twitter.com. Archived from the original on 2014-02-16. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
  5. ^ "Twitter / Amerie: Hey everyone! I just mixed". Twitter.com. Archived from the original on 2014-02-16. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
  6. ^ a b The Green Magazine, Amerie, 2 September 2009
  7. ^ a b "NEW AMERIE VIDEO TO PREMIERE ON BET: 'Why R U' marks singer's return after two year hiatus". EURweb.com. 2009-06-04. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
  8. ^ a b c d "Amerie – In Love & War (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. November 6, 2009. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  9. ^ "Twitter / Amerie: Very happy w/my album date". Twitter.com. Archived from the original on 2014-02-16. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
  10. ^ "Twitter / Amerie: In Love & War cover!:) A". Twitter.com. Archived from the original on 2014-02-16. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
  11. ^ a b "In Love & War: Amerie: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
  12. ^ "Why R U | Discography | Amerie | Artists | Def Jam". Island Def Jam. 2009-06-15. Retrieved 2009-10-31.
  13. ^ "Heard 'Em All (Single) | Discography | Amerie | Artists | Def Jam". Island Def Jam. 2009-09-15. Retrieved 2009-10-31.
  14. ^ "Single Cover: Amerie – 'Pretty Brown'". Rap-Up.com. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
  15. ^ "Radio1 – USA Forthcoming Singles". Radio1.gr. Retrieved 2009-10-26.
  16. ^ a b "In Love & War Sampler | Discography | Amerie | Artists | Def Jam". Island Def Jam. 2009-09-16. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
  17. ^ "Dont Miss Amerie Performing Live Tonight On Jimmy Kimmel Live On ABC! | News | Amerie | Artists | Def Jam". Island Def Jam. 2009-11-10. Retrieved 2010-02-27.
  18. ^ "Video: Amerie More Than Love Feat. Fabolous | News | Amerie | Artists | Def Jam". Island Def Jam. 2010-01-06. Retrieved 2010-02-27.
  19. ^ "에이머리(Amerie)와 포미닛, 새 앨범서 환상 호흡!". The Star.chosun.com (in Korean). February 4, 2010. Archived from the original on March 12, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-18.
  20. ^ "Music Albums, Top 200 Albums & Music Album Charts". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
  21. ^ Previous Album Sales Chart: 11/09/2009. HITS Daily Double. Retrieved on 2009-11-27.
  22. ^ Columnist. US Charts Review. Trace TV. Retrieved on 2009-11-27.
  23. ^ UK Top 40 RnB Albums: 15 November 2009. BBC Radio 1. Retrieved on 2009-11-27. Non-archived. BBC
  24. ^ a b Kellman, Andy. Review: In Love & War. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-11-05.
  25. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide: In Love & War". MSN Music: January 2010.
  26. ^ Vozick, Simon. Review: In Love & War. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2009-11-05.
  27. ^ Sullivan, Caroline. Review: In Love & War. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2009-11-05.
  28. ^ a b Freyne, Patrick. Review: In Love & War. Hot Press. Retrieved on 2009-11-27.
  29. ^ Pareles, Jon. Review: In Love & War. The New York Times. Retrieved on 2009-11-03.
  30. ^ a b Hoard, Christian. Review: In Love & War. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2009-11-05.
  31. ^ Keefe, Jonathan. Review: In Love & War Archived 2009-11-10 at the Wayback Machine.. Slant Magazine. Retrieved on 2009-11-08.
  32. ^ a b Jones, Steve. Review: In Love & War. USA Today. Retrieved on 2010-06-17.
  33. ^ Godfrey, Sarah. Review: In Love & War. The Washington Post. Retrieved on 2009-11-04.
  34. ^ a b In Love & War (2009): Reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2009-11-05.
  35. ^ Nero, Mark Edward. Review: In Love & War. About.com. Retrieved on 2009-11-06.
  36. ^ Denney, Alex. Review: In Love & War. Yahoo! Music. Retrieved on 2009-11-17.
  37. ^ Carroll, Jim. Review: In Love & War. The Irish Times. Retrieved on 2009-11-27.
  38. ^ Carter, Lauren. Review: In Love & War. Boston Herald. Retrieved on 2009-11-06.
  39. ^ Christgau, Robert. CG Keys to Icons. Robert Christgau. Retrieved on 2009-12-29.
  40. ^ "In Love & War de Amerie en Apple Music – iTunes". itunes.apple.com (in Spanish). November 6, 2009. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  41. ^ "Amerie – 'In Love & War' (Prelude/Album Sampler)". hiphop-n-more.com. September 17, 2009. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  42. ^ In Love & War (Media notes). Amerie. Def Jam Recordings. 2009. 6-02527-13364-5.
  43. ^ ":: 가온차트와 함께하세요 ::". Gaonchart.co.kr. Retrieved 2012-02-24.
  44. ^ UK Top 40 R&B Albums: 15 November 2009. BBC Radio 1. Retrieved on 2009-11-27. Non-archived. BBC
  45. ^ "Amerie Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  46. ^ "Amerie Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard.
  47. ^ "Amerie – Prelude To Love & War (CD) at Discogs". Discogs.com. September 16, 2009. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  48. ^ "Amerie – In Love & War (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. October 30, 2009. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  49. ^ "In Love & War: Amerie: Amazon.de: Musik". Amazon.de. Retrieved 2009-10-26.
  50. ^ HMV UK release date 3 September 2009
  51. ^ "In Love & War: Amerie: Amazon.ca: Music". Amazon.ca. Retrieved 2009-10-29.
  52. ^ In Love & War (CD) – Amerie. Retrieved 2009-11-7.
  53. ^ "Amerie – In Love & War (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. November 11, 2009. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  54. ^ "In Love & War: Amerie: Fan.pl". Fan.pl.
  55. ^ AMERIE – IN LOVE & WAR. Retrieved 2009-11-7.

External links[edit]