It's About Time (Christina Milian album)
|It's About Time|
|Studio album by Christina Milian|
June 15, 2004 (Japan) |
July 13, 2004 (United States)
|Christina Milian chronology|
|Singles from It's About Time|
It's About Time is the second studio album by American singer Christina Milian. The album was released by Island Records on June 15, 2004 in Japan, and July 13, 2004 in the United States. It's About Time served as Milian's debut in the US; the September 11 attacks occurred two weeks prior to her debut album was scheduled to be released, and Milian opted to record a new album for the US market.
For the production of the album, Milian worked with Bloodshy & Avant, Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, Cory Rooney, Warryn Campbell, Bryan-Michael Cox and Poli Paul. Milian received writing credit for seven songs on the album, often basing them on personal experiences. The style and sound of the album was compared to that of Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez by several critics.
The album peaked at number 14 on the US Billboard 200 album chart and number 21 in the United Kingdom, selling a total of 382,000 and 63,708 copies respectively. The album achieved Silver certification in the UK, and received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary R&B Album. The album's lead single, "Dip It Low", became Milian's most successful to date; peaking at number two on the UK Singles Chart and number five on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart; it eventually went gold. The second single "Whatever U Want" was less successful, peaking on the UK singles chart at number nine. The critical response to It's About Time was mixed. The club tracks, most notably "Dip It Low", were praised, however the ballads were said to be disappointing.
Milian's self-titled debut album was released worldwide in October 2001; however, its domestic release was postponed because of the September 11 attacks, which occurred just two weeks before its release date. Her label opted to release it later that year, in the fourth quarter, but as Milian explained, new artists generally do not release their albums during that time. As a result, the album was again delayed until the first quarter of 2002. After the international release of her debut album, Milian went back into the recording studio. The singer felt that music trends had changed into rock music, hardcore hip hop and tribute songs, and her music did not fall into those categories. Milian decided to stop recording and toured overseas for a year and a half. When she returned to the US, she decided not to release her previous album domestically, and started working on a new album.
Production and composition
Milian traveled the world to record the album, working with the popular producers of the time. The album featured production from Bloodshy & Avant, "Darkchild", Cory Rooney, Warryn Campbell, Bryan-Michael Cox and Poli Paul. Basing her lyrics on past personal experiences, Milian wrote seven songs on the album. Milian later explained that she wrote what she thought other people would like, rather than writing for herself and what she liked. When promoting the album, Milian said that she was excited about the album because she had matured since her last album, and it was "nice for people to see this change".
Discussing the change of genre between her lead singles, Milian said that the "first single off my last album, 'AM to PM', was more of a kiddie kind of thing, very pop. [Dip It Low] is more R&B, kind of a club/party kind of vibe." An issue Milian had with the album was that it did not flow. The various pop and urban influences in that album, she found, confused the audience. For her next studio album, Milian said that she wanted a more consistent feel.
For "Dip It Low"'s music video, Milian danced in a bed of black paint. Milian explained that body art was common in the 1960s: "they would dip in paint and they would roll around on a canvas and make art on the canvas. So I kind of 'dip' in the paint and do the same thing." The song's lyrics are about putting an effort into the relationship as a female: "if you wanna be a little more sexy, you gotta dip it low". Several years after the release of It's About Time, Milian admitted that her new image for "Dip It Low" and the whole album was mainly for shock value. She had to make her way back into the US market, and by choosing a sexier image, she made a name for herself. "Dip It Low" was also meant to show that she was not the same eighteen-year-old girl in the "AM to PM" video. To create her new image, Milian also decided to change her appearance and lightened her hair. Taking inspiration from Janet Jackson who constantly changed her image, Milian thought to herself, "'When did I like Janet Jackson the most?' It was when she had her lightened hair."
The style and sound of the album was compared to that of Beyoncé, Paula Abdul and Jennifer Lopez by several critics, as well as Britney Spears, Aaliyah and Ashanti. After several comparisons to Beyoncé Knowles in regards to appearance, Milian said "I think she is a lovely artist, very talented but the only reason I changed my color hair is because I was getting bored of my same old look and I wanted to do something different." Elysa Gardner of USA Today found that with Milian's "slight, sweet vocals and blithe, breezy pop-soul sensibility", the genre of the album was more pop than R&B. Andy Kellman of Allmusic described "Dip It Low" as "a clever and ubiquitous slice of high-class raunch", and compared the album's sound to both Beyoncé's "Dangerously in Love" and Jennifer Lopez's "This Is Me... Then". Eric R. Danton of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said "Dip It Low" had the "plinking of an unusual Far Eastern-sounding stringed instrument", and "Whatever U Want" "rolls on a bass-and-drum combo". Danton found the rest of the album to be "simply bland padding, with plodding, canned beats and half-hearted hooks".
The album received mixed reviews among critics. Jim Farber of Entertainment Weekly felt that the songs from It's About Time "sound like they fell off a Paula Abdul album". Farber criticized the lyricists for writing "so many cliches", and said that Milian's voice "suggests a slightly more forceful version of Janet Jackson's pant". Farber gave the album a "D". Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine said that while It's About Time was "certainly not the worst album of the year", it was "pretty damn crappy". The reviewer enjoyed "Whatever U Want", "I'm Sorry" and "Get Loose", which he said "contribute some guilty pleasure ear candy". Eric Danton of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found the album "suffers from the same problem afflicting most major-label albums dumped on the market by an industry desperate for quick cash — It's About Time features one hit single, a couple of lesser tracks and a lot of filler." Danton felt that the only hit from It's About Time was "Dip It Low", while "Whatever U Want" and "L.O.V.E." were the album's lesser tracks. Danton praised Milian's vocal talent, but said that ultimately, "the lackluster material [...] rarely gives her a chance to shine".
Andy Kellman of Allmusic praised the club tracks, feeling that they "work best and easily outrank the slower songs". Kellman called "Dip It Low" the biggest highlight of the album, but said that despite the album's "handful of bright spots", Milian "will need to be more convincing during the ballads next time out in order to be considered a true force." Kelefa Sanneh of The New York Times said that although "Dip It Low" was one of the summer's most popular songs, the album included an even better song, "I Need More". Sanneh explained that Milian "breathes a serpentine melody over a beat that consists of jagged snippets: some guitar chugging, a few handclaps, a couple of strategically placed beeps and, in the chorus, an unexpected nose-diving bass line." Contrary to the views of other critics, Barry Walters of Rolling Stone said that although the ballads were "gooey", "the love songs work better than the dance tracks". Etta James of People believed that Milian struggled to find her own musical identity on the "fun but formulaic CD". James praised the "sexy booty bumper" "Dip It Low" for its "reggae-ish bass groove, a hypnotic Middle Eastern refrain", and called Fabolous' rap "perfectly chilled". The reviewer thought "Highway", the album's "most erotically charged track", sounded like a female answer to R. Kelly's "Ignition". While James found the album's most personal song, "Oh Daddy", to be the unsuccessful, she said that at least "it gives us a glimpse into the real Christina".
It's About Time was released in the US on July 13, 2004; it debuted and peaked at number 14 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and sold a total of 382,000 copies. Internationally, the album peaked at number 35 on the Swiss Albums Chart, 55 on the German Albums Chart, and 66 on the Dutch Albums Chart. In the UK, the album peaked at number 21, selling a total of 63,708 copies, and achieving Silver certification by the British Phonographic Industry. The album received a Grammy Award nomination for "Best Contemporary R&B Album" in 2005. To promote her album, Milian performed as an opening act on the Usher and Kanye West tour. The album's first single, "Dip It Low", became Milian's biggest hit to date, reaching number two in the UK and number five in the US. The single was certified Gold by the RIAA for digital sales, and earned a Grammy Award nomination for "Best Rap/Sung Collaboration". The album's second and final single, "Whatever U Want" featuring Joe Budden, reached the top ten in the UK.
In August 2008, Milian sued the writer and producer of "Dip It Low", Poli Paul. Milian claimed that Paul "very definitively" assured her that "there were no samples whatsoever in […] 'Dip It Low'". However, in February 2005, Thomas Turino, Larry Crook and Dan Dickey sued Milian over the song, claiming that it contained a sample from a track they released in 1983 called La Sirena. The lawsuit claimed that Paul heard the album while in a record store, liked the tune and sampled 12 seconds of it for "Dip It Low". Milian claimed that she had to spend more than $300,000 defending herself in the case, which she settled in 2006, and wanted $300,000 plus damages from Paul and his associate, Spencer Cowlings Entertainment. In November 2008, Paul countersued the Island Def Jam Music Group and its parent company, Universal Music Group. Paul alleged that Island Def Jam was "negligent in its obligation to obtain clearance and proper licensing for any copyrighted material" used on the album. In February 2009, a superior court judge ruled that Paul's attorneys had failed to file a sworn declaration in the given period of time, but allowed them to file an amended complaint. Paul's lawyers amended the countersuit and added Milian as a defendant, saying that she was also negligent and that she should compensate him for money he spent in the copyright action. In June 2009, Universal Music Group filed a breach-of-contract suit against Milian and Paul. The record label claimed it was forced to pay attorney fees as a result of the litigation between Milian and Paul. The suit also said that Paul owes the company attorneys' fees from an earlier federal court case involving "Dip It Low".
Credits adapted from the liner notes of It's About Time.
|1.||"Intro"||Christina Milian, Paul Poli, Shawn Carter, Chris Martin||Poli||1:05|
|2.||"Dip It Low" (featuring Fabolous)||Poli, Teedra Moses||Poli||3:38|
|3.||"I Need More"||Sean Garrett, Christian "Bloodshy" Karlsson, Pontus Winnberg, Henrik Jonback||Bloodshy and Avant||3:17|
|4.||"Whatever U Want" (featuring Joe Budden)||Bradley Spalter, Lambert Waldrip II, Aleese Simmons, Andre Mortion, Khaleef Chiles, James Banks, Henderson Thigpen||Bradley & Stereo||3:49|
|5.||"Someday One Day"||Milian, Cory Rooney, Gregory Bruno||Rooney, Bruno||4:32|
|6.||"Highway"||Milian, Warryn "Baby Dubb" Campbell||W. Campbell||3:32|
|7.||"I'm Sorry"||Milian, Poli||Poli||3:44|
|8.||"Get Loose"||Daniel Nixon, Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, Delisha Thomas||Jerkins, Jazz Nixon, Big Shiz Daniels (vocal)||3:38|
|9.||"L.O.V.E." (featuring Joe Budden)||Warryn Campbell, Joi Campbell, Harold Lilly, Joe Budden||W. Campbell||4:22|
|10.||"Peanut Butter & Jelly"||Milian, Kevin Pridgen, Jr., Kalenna Harper, EZ Tommy||Fontez Camp, Tommy, Harper (vocal)||3:46|
|11.||"Miss You Like Crazy"||Milian, Jasper Cameron||Jasper Da Fatso||4:49|
|12.||"Oh Daddy"||Milian, Bryan Michael Cox, Jason Perry, A. Johnson, M. Alston, S. McFadden, J. Smith||Cox, Perry (co)||3:56|
|International bonus track|
|13.||"I Can Be That Woman"||Mark Taylor, Jeff Taylor, Steve Lee||M. Taylor, J. Taylor||3:13|
|UK bonus track|
|14.||"Hands on Me"||Milian, Rooney, Bruno||Rooney, Bruno||3:08|
|UK limited edition dvd|
|1.||"AM to PM" (Video)|
|2.||"When You Look At Me" (Video)|
|3.||"Dip It Low" (Video)|
|4.||"Whatever U Want" (Video)|
|5.||"It's About Time (Feature)" (Video)|
|1.||"Dip It Low"||3:15|
|3.||"Down For You"||3:39|
|4.||"Someday One Day"||4:30|
|6.||"I Can Be That Woman"||3:13|
|7.||"Peanut Butter & Jelly"||3:46|
|8.||"Hands On Me"||3:06|
|11.||"Miss You Like Crazy"||4:50|
|12.||"Dip It Low" (featuring S-Word)||3:41|
|13.||"Dip It Low" (Full Intention Dub)||7:21|
|Japanese limited edition DVD|
|1.||"Dip It Low" (Video)|
|2.||"Making of Dip It Low" (Video)|
-International versions of the album swap the order of "Get Loose" and "I'm Sorry" to tracks 7 and 8 respectively.
-The version of "L.O.V.E." from the Japanese edition is a different mix than that used on other versions of the album.
|Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)||66|
|French Albums (SNEP)||83|
|German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)||55|
|Irish Albums (IRMA)||74|
|Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)||35|
|UK Albums (OCC)||21|
|US Billboard 200||14|
|US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)||5|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||60,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
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