"Take Control" is a song by American singer-songwriter Amerie from her third studio album, Because I Love It (2007). It was released as the album's lead single on October 17, 2006. The song was written by Cee-Lo Green, Mike Caren, and Amerie, and produced by Caren, with additional production handled by Cee-Lo, Amerie, and Len Nicholson. "Take Control" contains excerpts from the 1970 song "Jimmy, Renda-se" by Brazilian musician Tom Zé, and elements of the 1980 song "You Make My Dreams" by Hall & Oates.
After Cee-Lo wrote the song, he approached Amerie to record it. Amerie said she did not normally do commissions and record other people's songs because they did not work for her, but because she had "always loved" Cee-Lo since his time with Goodie Mob, she agreed. She felt the song was not uptempo enough to suit her, so she wrote a hook, a bridge, and added a horn section to add to the song her "signature" and "a different flavour", making it a "dance record".
Tori Alamaze, the reference singer on the song, said that it was originally offered to her, but Amerie denied this, saying she thought it "really wack on [Alamaze's] part" to make such a claim.
Many critics gave "Take Control" positive reviews. Rolling Stone placed "Take Control" at number 92 on its list of The 100 Best Songs of the Year. Ryan Dombal of Entertainment Weekly stated "'Take Control' may be an ode to submission, but it hardly holds back." Tom Breihan of The Village Voice named "Take Control" the fifth best single release of the fourth quarter of 2006, commenting on "how great Amerie's joyous chirp sounds over sharp, percussive old-school funk tracks. Here, Cee-Lo laces her with spy-movie guitars and horn-stabs and a drum track that keeps building and building, adding on congas and handclaps and tambourines without ever disturbing the tense little groove at the song's center [...] and Amerie finally finds room for a bit of grit in her voice."The Guardian's Alex Macpherson wrote that the track "twitches and jerks along a nagging Tom Zé sample, but it's a song with such a sparse arrangement that interest has to be sustained entirely by the voice, which Amerie does spectacularly, making it absolutely clear who is really cracking the whip."
According to Amerie, "Some Like It" was originally chosen as the first single from Because I Love It. After the release of similar-sounding singles by Kelis ("Bossy"), Fergie ("London Bridge"), and Justin Timberlake ("SexyBack"), and because Amerie thought "Take Control" was "kind of different", the decision was made to release it as the lead single instead. The single debuted at number 72 on the US BillboardHot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart dated December 16, 2006, and peaked two weeks later at number 66, while failing to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. After the failure of the single, the US release of Because I Love It was pushed back repeatedly. Internationally, "Take Control" peaked at number 10 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Amerie's second highest-charting single in the United Kingdom after "1 Thing", and also reached number nine in Finland, number 19 in Norway and number 23 in Ireland.
The music video was shot in late October 2006 and was premiered on the Internet on December 3. It was released to television in the United States on January 15, 2007 and was selected as MTV Jams's "Jam of the Week". Directed by Scott Franklin, it borrows greatly from Michelangelo Antonioni's 1966 film Blowup, with some of the key scenes recreated in a contemporary setting. Unlike the film, however, flashing captions onscreen make the assassination involved more obvious. Amerie and some acolytes are shown removing the photographer's blowups from his apartment, which is implied but not shown in the film. The video has a short introduction that involves Amerie singing another song from Because I Love It, "That's What U R".
Helin Jung of Entertainment Weekly called the video "nonsense, just the way I like my music videos to be" and "the stuff that music video dreams are made of [...] [it] pretends to make sense by taking on something more complex than Amerie shimmying around in hot pants and heels, but don't let it fool you. The hair tossing and strut-strutting is the same here as it is in '1 Thing', just on location this time—in a car, a park, a house with a sexy man sleeping under rumpled sheet, etc. Love it!"