In Love & War (Amerie album)
|In Love & War|
|Studio album by Amerie|
|Released||November 3, 2009|
Prelude to In Love & War album sampler cover
|Singles from In Love & War|
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 during 2008 to 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 46 on the U.S. 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.
In January 2008, Entertainment Weekly reported that Amerie had left her record label, Columbia Records, 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. 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.
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. 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.
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.'— 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). The song was produced by Australian hip hop producer M-Phazes.
Release and promotion
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. On September 27, 2009, Amerie premiered the album cover on her official Twitter page. 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.
Three singles were released in promotion of the album, including "Why R U" on June 15, 2009, "Heard 'Em All" on September 15, 2009, and "Pretty Brown" on October 20, 2009. 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. Amerie performed "Heard 'Em All" and "Higher" in November 2009 on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. A music video for "More Than Love" featuring Fabolous, directed by Taj was released in January 2010.
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
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. By November 9, 2009, it had sold 12,421 copies in the United States, resulting in sales of 12,500 in its first week. The album also charted in the United Kingdom on the UK R&B Albums at number twenty-nine on November 15, 2009.
|The New York Times||(favorable)|
|The Washington Post||(favorable)|
Upon its release, the album received generally positive reviews from most music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 78, based on 8 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews". About.com's Mark Edward Nero gave it 3½ out of 5 stars and called it "a hip, energetic album that properly showcases her singing talent". Alex Denney of Yahoo! Music gave In Love & War a rating of 8/10 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". Hot Press writer Patrick Freyne gave the album a rating of 3.5/5, 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". The Irish Times gave it 3 out of 4 stars, writing that Amerie "approaches In Love & War with much gusto".
In contrast, Steve Jones of USA Today gave the album 2½ out of 4 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". Despite writing favorably of its uptempo tracks, Rolling Stone's Christian Hoard gave the album 3 out of 5 stars and perceived its slower material as a weakness. 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". However, Allmusic's Andy Kellman gave the album 4 out of 5 stars and wrote favorably of its ballads, calling them "as well constructed as anything earlier in the set". In his consumer guide for MSN Music, critic Robert Christgau gave it a rating of honorable mention (), indicating "an enjoyable effort consumers attuned to its overriding aesthetic or individual vision may well treasure".
- All Credits
|1.||"Tell Me You Love Me"||Amerie Rogers, T. Riley, W. Scott, I. Freeman, J. Lowe||Teddy Riley, Walter Scott||3:07|
|2.||"Heard 'Em All"||Rogers, S. Garrett, E. Hudson||Eric Hudson, The Pen||3:23|
|3.||"Dangerous"||Rogers, E. Serrano, J. Jeberg, D. Sharpe, G. Lawson||Jonas Jeberg, Amerie||2:48|
|4.||"Higher"||Rogers, W. Campbell||Warryn Campbell||2:52|
|5.||"Why R U"||Rogers, S. Johnson, C. Miller, K. Thornton, H. Rooney||The Buchanans, Amerie||3:17|
|6.||"Pretty Brown" (featuring Trey Songz)||Rogers, E. Serrano, K. Lewis, L. Waddell, M. Landon, S. Williams, J. Allen||M-Phazes, Amerie||4:02|
|7.||"More Than Love" (featuring Fabolous)||Rogers, G. Brown, R. Bell, C. Smith, R. Mickens, R. Westfield, D. Thomas, R. Bell, J. Jackson, L. Nicholson, A. Taylor||Del Pearson, Lenny Nicholson||4:14|
|8.||"Swag Back"||Rogers, D. Siegel, J. Scheffer, J. Jonsin, R. Love||Jim Jonsin, Rico Love||4:29|
|9.||"You're a Star" (Interlude)||Rogers, Len Nicholson||Amerie, Lenny Nicholson||1:52|
|10.||"Red Eye"||Rogers, B. Cox||Bryan-Michael Cox, Amerie||4:11|
|11.||"The Flowers"||Rogers, I. Barias, C. Haggins||Ivan "Orthodox" Barias & Carvin "Ransum" Haggins, Amerie||5:16|
|12.||"Different People"||Rogers, M. Landon||M-Phazes||3:55|
|13.||"Dear John"||Rogers, L. Nicholson, D. Richards, S. Rumsey||TrackNova, Amerie||4:12|
|14.||"Heard 'Em All" (Remix featuring Lil Wayne)||D. Carter, Rogers, S. Garrett, E. Hudson||Sean Garrett, Eric Hudson||3:56|
- Sample credits
- "Why R U" - Contains a sample of "Ego Trippin'" by Ultramagnetic MCs
- "More Than Love" – Contains a sample of "Summer Madness (Live)" by Kool & the Gang
- "Pretty Brown" – Contains a sample of "Breakin' My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)" by Mint Condition
Credits for In Love & War adapted from liner notes.
- Amerie – vocals, producer
- Francesco Romano – guitar
- David Siegel – keyboards
- Sean Windsor – guitar
- Larry Sommerville – keyboards
|Korean Albums (Gaon)||18|
|UK R&B Albums (OCC)||29|
|US Billboard 200||46|
|US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)||3|
|Worldwide||September 16, 2009||Def Jam||Album sampler|
|United States||November 3, 2009||
|Germany||November 6, 2009||Def Jam|
|United Kingdom||November 9, 2009||Mercury|
|Canada||November 10, 2009|
|Japan||November 11, 2009||Universal Japan|
|Poland||November 12, 2009||Universal Music|
|Hong Kong||November 20, 2009||Def Jam|
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