Try Again (Aaliyah song)

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"Try Again"
Single by Aaliyah featuring Timbaland
from the album Romeo Must Die: The Album and Aaliyah (International Version)
Released February 22, 2000
Recorded Fall 1999; Manhattan Center
(New York City, New York)
Length 4:49
Label Blackground, Virgin
Producer(s) Timbaland
Aaliyah singles chronology
"I Don't Wanna"
"Try Again"
"Come Back in One Piece"
"I Don't Wanna"
Try Again"
"Come Back in One Piece"

"Try Again" is a song by American recording artist 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".


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.[4] In addition to acting, Aaliyah served as an executive producer of the film soundtrack, to which she contributed four songs.[5] Aaliyah revealed that the production team "actually talked about the soundtrack before we even shot the movie".[6] 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.[7] It was physically released on February 22, 2000.[8]


"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 rapping the duo's opening verse from "I Know You Got Soul".[12]

Chart performance[edit]

"Try Again" debuted on the US Billboard Hot 100 on the week of March 18, 2000 at number fifty-eight,[13] reaching number one on the week of June 17, 2000.[13] 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.[13] On the Year-End chart for 2000, the song reached number twelve.[14]

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[15]―while staying in the top seventy-five of the chart for twelve weeks.[15]

"Try Again" also achieved commercial success elsewhere in Europe, peaking within the top five on the charts in Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, and Switzerland.[8] In Germany, the song peaked at number five on the German Singles Chart.[16]

In Australia, the song reached number eight on the ARIA Singles Chart.[17] It became the country's fifty-first best-selling song of 2000.[18]

Music video[edit]

The music video was filmed at Hollywood Center Studios on March 6, 2000. 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. The making of the video and the video itself was featured on the Romeo Must Die DVD. The video was directed by Wayne Isham, with Fatima Robinson creating the choreography. The "Hall of Mirrors" room was inspired by Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon. The video placed seventh on BET's year-end special Notarized: Top 100 Videos of 2000, fifteenth on Channel V's Retro Top 20: 2000, ranks Aaliyah at number 29 on Channel V's Top 40: Ladies of the '00s and 41st on Channel Max's Top 100 Sexiest Women.


"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.[12] "Try Again" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the 43rd Grammy Awards,[12] while its music video won two MTV Video Music Awards for Best Female Video and Best Video from a Film.[19] 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.[20]

"Try Again" was featured on Billboard's Hot 100 Songs of the Decade list at number ninety-eight,[21] while appearing at number eighty-six on the Rolling Stone list of the 100 Best Songs of the Decade.[22] On January 31, 2005, Pitchfork Media ranked the song number thirty-seven on its list of the Top 100 Singles of 2000-04.[23] 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.[24][25] In September 2011, VH1 included "Try Again" in their list of 100 Greatest Songs of the '00s, placing it at number 65.[26] The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop annual year-end critics' poll ranked "Try Again" at number 10 to find the best music of 2000.[27] British publication The Daily Telegraph ranked try again at number 42 on their 100 songs that defined the Noughties list.[28] Yahoo included "Try Again" on their 15 Chart toppers that didn't suck (2000's edition) list [29]

George Michael sampled "Try Again" in his 2002 hit song "Freeek!".

Dr. Danny from The Mindy Project taught the choreography of the video to Mindy in an episode of the series.

German NDH band Knorkator covered the song in their album "Ich hasse Musik".

Track listings[edit]



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[56] Platinum 70,000^
Belgium (BEA)[57] Gold 15,000*
Germany (BVMI)[58] Gold 250,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[59] Gold 0*
United Kingdom (BPI)[60] Silver 200,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Whaley, Natelege (August 17, 2012). "The Hip-Hop Effect: 20 R&B Songs Sampling Rap Beats and Lyrics". The Boombox. AOL. Retrieved December 28, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ Wolk, Josh (March 26, 2000). "'Romeo' and Julia". Entertainment Weekly. Time. Retrieved May 10, 2009. 
  5. ^ Pareles, Jon (August 27, 2001). "Aaliyah, 22, Singer Who First Hit the Charts at 14". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved May 10, 2009. 
  6. ^ Farley, Christopher John (2001). Aaliyah: More Than a Woman. Simon and Schuster. p. 106. ISBN 978-1-4165-5215-4. 
  7. ^ Basham, David (February 18, 2000). "Aaliyah, DMX, Ginuwine Pitch In For "Romeo" LP". MTV. MTV Networks. Retrieved August 25, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "Aaliyag - Try Again (song)". Hung Medien. 2000. Retrieved August 25, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b "Aaliyah Try Again – Digital Sheet Music". Music Notes. Universal Music Publishing Group. Retrieved August 25, 2011. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b Sanneh, Kelefa (September 2, 2001). "A Pioneer, Briefly, Of a New Sound". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 9, 2012. Retrieved December 9, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b c Ramirez, Erika (August 25, 2011). "Aaliyah's Top 10 Billboard Hits". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 25, 2011. 
  13. ^ a b c "Try Again - Aaliyah". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 25, 2011. 
  14. ^ a b "Billboard Top 100 - 2000". originally from Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. December 31, 2000. 
  15. ^ a b "Chart Stats – Aaliyah – Try Again". UK Singles Chart. Chart Stats. Retrieved August 25, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche -" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved August 18, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Pandora Archive" (PDF). 2006-08-23. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  18. ^ a b "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 2000". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved August 25, 2011. 
  19. ^ Basham, David (September 21, 2000). "Chili Peppers To Tape Show For Live DVD, Video". MTV. MTV Networks. Retrieved August 25, 2011. 
  20. ^ vanHorn, Teri (August 29, 2001). "Aaliyah's Absence Felt At Lady Of Soul Awards". MTV. MTV Networks. Retrieved August 25, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Hot 100 Songs of the Decade". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 25, 2011. 
  22. ^ "100 Best Songs of the Decade". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. 
  23. ^ Pitchfork Staff (January 31, 2005). "Pitchfork: Staff Lists: The Top 100 Singles of 2000-04". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved August 25, 2011. 
  24. ^ "The 100 Best Songs of the 2000s". Complex Magazine. Complex Magazine. 
  25. ^ "Best of the Aughts: Singles". Slant Magazine. Slant Staff. 
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll, 2000". 
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ Try Again (CD single liner notes). Aaliyah. Blackground Entertainment. 2000. VUSCDF167, 7243 8 96835 2 3. 
  31. ^ Try Again (Vinyl liner notes). Aaliyah. Hostile Records. 2000. 7243 8968356 1. 
  32. ^ " – Aaliyah – Try Again". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  33. ^ " – Aaliyah – Try Again" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  34. ^ " – Aaliyah – Try Again" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  35. ^ " – Aaliyah – Try Again" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  36. ^ "Brazil" (PDF). ABPD. October 6, 2001. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  37. ^ Canadian Dance peak
  38. ^ Canadian Top Singles peak
  39. ^ "Denmark (Top 10): 29th July 2000 (Week 31)". Tracklisten. Retrieved March 18, 2017. 
  40. ^ " – Aaliyah – Try Again" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  41. ^ " – Aaliyah Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  42. ^ "Chart Track: Week 33, 2000". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved December 10,2015.
  43. ^ " – Aaliyah – Try Again". Top Digital Download. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  44. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Aaliyah search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  45. ^ " – Aaliyah – Try Again". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  46. ^ " – Aaliyah – Try Again". VG-lista. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  47. ^ "Archive Chart: 2000-09-10". Scottish Singles Top 40.
  48. ^ " – Aaliyah – Try Again". Singles Top 100. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  49. ^ " – Aaliyah – Try Again". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  50. ^ "Aaliyah: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  51. ^ "Archive Chart: 2001-01-21" UK R&B Chart. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  52. ^ "Aaliyah – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Aaliyah. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  53. ^ "Aaliyah – Chart history" Billboard Latin Pop Songs for Aaliyah. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  54. ^ "Aaliyah – Chart history" Billboard Pop Songs for Aaliyah. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  55. ^ "Aaliyah – Chart history" Billboard Rhythmic Songs for Aaliyah. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  56. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2000 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on December 26, 2012. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  57. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – 2000". Ultratop & Hung Medien / 
  58. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Aaliyah)" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Archived from the original on December 26, 2012. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  59. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Aaliyah – Try Again". Recorded Music NZ. 
  60. ^ "British single certifications – Aaliyah – Try Again". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Try Again in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search
  61. ^ "Aaliyah" (select "Singles" tab). The Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 20, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Maria Maria" by Santana featuring The Product G&B
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
June 17, 2000
Succeeded by
"Be with You" by Enrique Iglesias