Try Again (Aaliyah song)

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"Try Again"
Aaliyah-Try-Again-cover.png
Single by Aaliyah featuring Timbaland
from the album Romeo Must Die: The Album and Aaliyah (international version)
ReleasedFebruary 22, 2000
RecordedFall 1999
StudioManhattan Center (New York City, New York)
Genre
Length4:49
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Timbaland
Aaliyah singles chronology
"I Don't Wanna"
(1999)
"Try Again"
(2000)
"Come Back in One Piece"
(2000)

"Try Again" is a song by American singer Aaliyah. It was written by Static Major and Timothy Mosley, and produced by Timbaland. The song was released on February 22, 2000, as the lead single for the soundtrack to the film Romeo Must Die, and was later included on international pressings of the singer's self-titled album. "Try Again" features an intro in which Timbaland pays homage to Eric B. & Rakim by rapping the duo's opening verse from "I Know You Got Soul".

The song was met with positive reviews from music critics and experienced commercial success. In the United States, it topped the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the first single to reach number one based solely on airplay. In Canada and Europe, "Try Again" peaked within the top five on eight music charts, including those of Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. It also found success in Oceania, entering the top 10 in Australia and the top 20 in New Zealand. A music video directed by Wayne Isham was made for the song.

Background[edit]

In 1999, Aaliyah landed her first movie role in Romeo Must Die, released March 22, 2000. A loose adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Aaliyah starred opposite martial artist Jet Li, playing a couple who fall in love amid their warring families. It grossed US$18.6 million in its first weekend, ranking number two at the box office.[3] In addition to acting, Aaliyah served as an executive producer of the film soundtrack, to which she contributed four songs.[4] Aaliyah revealed that the production team "actually talked about the soundtrack before we even shot the movie".[5] On February 18, 2000, it was announced that "Try Again" would be released as the lead single of Romeo Must Die: The Album (2000), while an accompanying music video would be directed by Wayne Isham.[6] It was physically released on February 22, 2000.[7] "Try Again" was recorded at Sound on Sound Studios in New York and it was originally written as an inspirational song. [8] According to engineer Jimmy Douglass it was "written to inspire young people, but Barry [Hankerson] heard it and told them, ‘It’s got to be about love." [8] After all of the changes that was made to the song, the melody and hook were the same but the lyrics were about love. [8]

Composition[edit]

"Try Again" is a song written by Stephen Garrett and Timothy Mosley, and produced by Timbaland.[9] Timbaland's fuzzy, booming soundscape is influenced by acid house. Yahoo! Music formally known as "Launch" mentioned that the song's sound is associated with Detroit techno.[10] Aaliyah's sinuous singing comprises simple vocal riffs, which are repeated and refracted to echo the manipulated loops that produce the song's digital rhythm. The chorus line, "If at first you don't succeed, then dust yourself off and try again", is hypnotically repeated in a fashion similar to the sampling and vocal manipulation found in house music.[11]

According to Music Notes, the song is composed in the key of C minor and is set in time signature of common time with a tempo of 92 beats per minute, while Aaliyah's vocal range spans from G3 to G4.[9] In the song's intro, Timbaland pays homage to Eric B. & Rakim by interpolating the duo's opening verse from "I Know You Got Soul".[12]

Reception[edit]

Chuck Taylor from Billboard felt that Aaliyah had another smash hit on her hands and he praised her vocal styling saying "Aaliyah's sultry vocals slide all over the futuristic beat". When it came to the production of the song he had a mixed response to it, although he thought the synth sample and snare alternate lived up to expectations for the song he ultimately felt that the synth sample becomes grating as the song progresses.[13]

Chart performance[edit]

"Try Again" debuted on the US Billboard Hot 100 on the week of March 18, 2000 at number fifty-eight,[14] reaching number one on the week of June 17, 2000.[14] It also peaked at number one on the Hot 100 Airplay chart, number three on the Mainstream Top 40 chart and number four on the Hot R&B Singles & Tracks chart.[14] On the Year-End chart for 2000, the song reached number twelve.[15]

In the United Kingdom, "Try Again" debuted and peaked at number five on the UK Singles Chart on July 16, 2000―for the week ending July 22, 2000―while staying in the top seventy-five of the chart for twelve weeks. The song has sold over 209,000 copies and it is Aaliyah's best selling single in that region.[16][17]

"Try Again" also achieved commercial success elsewhere in Europe, peaking within the top five on the charts in Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, and Switzerland.[7] In Germany, the song peaked at number five on the German Singles Chart.[18]

In Australia, the song reached number eight on the ARIA Singles Chart.[19] It became the country's fifty-first best-selling song of 2000.[20]

Music video[edit]

Synopsis[edit]

The music video was directed by Wayne Isham[21] and It begins with Jet Li entering a hall of mirrors and Aaliyah stepping in, wearing a revealing low-cut bra and tight low-rise leather pants, Timbaland is also shown. The room is dim with a shallow pool and circle light in the center to resemble the moon shining over the ocean represented by said pool.

Reception[edit]

The music video for "Try Again" made its official television debut on MTV during the week of March 5, 2000.[22] On the week of March 12, 2000 the video debuted on the cable network channel VH1.[23] Meanwhile, on the week of March 19, 2000 the video debuted on The Box, the following month later during the week of April 3, 2000 the video debuted on the BET network channel.[24][25] During its chart run the music video for "Try Again" received heavy TV airplay on multiple music video count down shows. For the week ending on May 8, 2000 the video was the number one most played video on BET.[26] On MTV the video was the third most played video on the network during the week ending on May 22, 2000.[27]

Legacy[edit]

"Try Again" helped smuggle the innovative techniques of electronic dance music onto the American pop charts, and it established Aaliyah as pop music's most futuristic star.

Kelefa Sanneh, The New York Times[11]

"Try Again" was the first song ever to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 based solely on the strength of its radio airplay.[28] "Try Again" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the 43rd Grammy Awards,[29] while its music video won two MTV Video Music Awards for Best Female Video and Best Video from a Film.[30] The song was also nominated on the seventh annual Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards in the category of Song of the Year; however, Aaliyah lost to gospel artist Yolanda Adams.[31]

"Try Again" was featured on Billboard's Hot 100 Songs of the Decade list at number ninety-eight,[32] while appearing at number eighty-six on the Rolling Stone list of the 100 Best Songs of the Decade.[33] The song was also ranked at number 18 on Rolling Stone's 20 Biggest Songs of the Summer: The 2000s list. [34] On January 31, 2005, Pitchfork Media ranked the song number thirty-seven on its list of the Top 100 Singles of 2000–04.[35] Complex Magazine ranked the single 43rd on its list of the 100 Best Songs of the 2000s, while it finished 60th on Slant Magazine's Best of the Aughts: Singles list.[36][37] In September 2011, VH1 included "Try Again" in their list of 100 Greatest Songs of the 2000s, placing it at number 65.[38] The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop annual year-end critics' poll ranked "Try Again" at number 10 to find the best music of 2000.[39] British publication The Daily Telegraph ranked try again at number 42 on their 100 songs that defined the Noughties list.[40] Yahoo included "Try Again" on their 15 Chart toppers that didn't suck (2000's edition) list [41] In March 2020 Billboard ranked the song at number 14 on their "The 100 Greatest Songs of 2000" list.[42] George Michael sampled "Try Again" in his 2002 hit song "Freeek!".[43] German NDH band Knorkator covered the song in their album Ich hasse Musik. In 2013 Dr. Danny from The Mindy Project taught the choreography of the video to Mindy in an episode of the series.[44][45]

Track listings[edit]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[97] Platinum 70,000^
Belgium (BEA)[98] Gold 25,000*
Germany (BVMI)[99] Gold 250,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[100] Gold 5,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[101] Silver 200,000double-dagger

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]