We Need a Resolution

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"We Need a Resolution"
Single by Aaliyah featuring Timbaland
from the album Aaliyah
B-side "Messed Up"
"Are You Feelin' Me?"
Released April 13, 2001
Recorded March 2001; Westlake Recording Studios
(Los Angeles, California)
Genre R&B[1]
Length 4:02
Producer(s) Timbaland
Aaliyah singles chronology
"Come Back in One Piece"
"We Need a Resolution"
"More Than a Woman"
"Come Back in One Piece"
"We Need a Resolution"
"More Than a Woman"
Timbaland singles chronology
"Can't Nobody"
(1999) Can't Nobody1999
"We Need a Resolution"
(2001) We Need a Resolution2001
(2001) Ugly2001

"We Need a Resolution" is a song performed by American recording artist Aaliyah. It was written by Static Major and Timbaland, who also produced and contributed a featured rap. The song was released on April 13, 2001, as the lead single for Aaliyah's self-titled 2001 album Aaliyah.[2]

The song was a moderate success internationally. "We Need a Resolution" reached the top 20 of the UK Singles Chart and the top 30 in Canada. In October 2011, NME placed it at number 119 on its list 150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years.[3] It was placed 21st on Slant Magazine's Best of the Aughts: Singles list and 30th on Stylus Magazine's Top 50 Singles: 2000–2005.[4][5] The single and the music video was also ranked 8th and 6th, respectively, on Slant Magazine's Best Singles and Music Videos of 2001 list.[6] Yahoo! Music formally known as "Launch" felt that this song was another classy slice of experimental R&B produced by Aaliyah [7]


"We Need a Resolution" has a sparse arrangement with stop-start drum patterns, hand claps,[8] and a clarinet sample from John Ottman's "Tricks of the Trade" from the score to the 1998 film Incognito. While this particular part of the song is in 10/8 time signature, Timbaland used quantization to make the "We Need a Resolution" beat completely in 4/4.[9] The song's lyrics maturely present two perspectives in a passive-aggressive relationship.[10] Aaliyah's sinuously sung concerns are playfully dismissed in Timbaland's featured rap.[8] The song leaves its hook unresolved, plays backwards after Timbaland's rap, and concludes with a reversed loop of the vocal "where were you last night", which echoes the female protagonist's sentiment.[11]

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song was directed by Paul Hunter[12] from April 6–8, 2001 and premiered on BET's 106 & Park and MTV's TRL on April 26, 2001. The video placed at #77 on the BET: Notarized top 100 videos of 2001, and at number 30 on MTV's top 50 videos of 2001.

The video opens with Aaliyah sitting in a dark room in a black dress and also appearing on a TV screen performing the first verse. She is also shown sitting on a large question mark as it moves through a blue tunnel. Leading up to the chorus Aaliyah can be seen laying on a glass bed with headphones on. During the second verse and the next chorus she is in a scene with a snake around her neck in a snake pit, wearing snakeskin underwear. As Timbaland's rap verse begins he can be seen in a dark room wearing shades. Aaliyah performs a dance routine with other dancers during Timbaland's verse, wearing a dragon T-shirt. The video closes with Aaliyah in the dark bedroom scene again and Aaliyah with one of the male dancers.

Critical reception[edit]

Chuck Taylor from Billboard gave the song a mixed review, although he praised Aaliyah's vocal delivery by saying ,"Aaliyah's light but direct delivery complements the hectic track well" he ultimately felt that the overall song was classic Aaliyah and he expressed that he hoped that she would show more growth and variety just as well as she is building her budding acting resume.[13]

Formats and track listings[edit]


Chart (2001) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[14] 44
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[15] 47
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[16] 28
Canada (Canadian Singles Chart)[17] 26
Europe (European Hot 100 Singles)[18] 42
France (SNEP)[19] 53
Germany (Official German Charts)[20] 66
Netherlands (Tipparade)[21] 2
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[22] 37
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[23] 44
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[24] 46
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[25] 56
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[26] 20
UK Dance (Official Charts Company)[27] 10
UK R&B (Official Charts Company)[28] 6
US Billboard Hot 100[29] 59
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[30] 15
US Rhythmic (Billboard)[31] 38
US Tropical Airplay (Billboard)[32] 31


  1. ^ Edwards, Shawn (September 6, 2001). "Aaliyah". The Pitch. Kansas City. Retrieved July 16, 2013. 
  2. ^ Mitchell, Gail (April 7, 2001). "MCA Takes On An Alluring Proposition; Aaliyah's New Album Now Set For June 5". Billboard. New York. 113 (14): 43. Retrieved November 25, 2012. 
  3. ^ "150 Best Tracks Of The Past 15 Years". Nme.Com. Retrieved 2012-03-14. 
  4. ^ "Best of the Aughts: Singles". slantmagazine.com. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  5. ^ "The Top 50 Singles: 2000-2005". stylusmagazine.com. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  6. ^ "2001: Year in Music". slantmagazine.com. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  7. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20050122130547/http://uk.launch.yahoo.com/l_reviews_s/20916.html
  8. ^ a b Hardy, Ernest (August 2, 2001). "Recordings: Aaliyah, Aaliyah, 4 Stars". Rolling Stone. New York (874): 61–62. Archived from the original on June 6, 2002. Retrieved November 24, 2012. 
  9. ^ "John Ottoman Tricks of the Trade". YouTube. 2008-12-15. Retrieved 2012-03-14. 
  10. ^ Cinquemani, Sal (July 17, 2001). "Aaliyah: Aaliyah". Slant Magazine. Retrieved November 25, 2012. 
  11. ^ Clover 2001, p. 130; Cinquemani 2001
  12. ^ http://www.mvdbase.com/video.php?id=442
  13. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=BBQEAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA21&dq=aaliyah%20review&pg=PA21#v=onepage&q=aaliyah%20review&f=false
  14. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Aaliyah feat. Timbaland – We Need a Resolution". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 2014-12-09.
  15. ^ "Ultratop.be – Aaliyah feat. Timbaland – We Need a Resolution" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2014-12-09.
  16. ^ "Ultratop.be – Aaliyah feat. Timbaland – We Need a Resolution" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2014-12-09.
  17. ^ "Aaliyah - Chart history - Billboard". November 8, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Euro Chart Hot 100" (PDF). Music & Media. July 28, 2001. p. 7. Retrieved January 1, 2018. 
  19. ^ "Lescharts.com – Aaliyah feat. Timbaland – We Need a Resolution" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 2014-12-09.
  20. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Aaliyah – We Need a Resolution". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 2014-12-09.
  21. ^ "Aaliyah feat. Timbaland-We Need A Resolution" (in Dutch). top40.nl. 
  22. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Aaliyah feat. Timbaland – We Need a Resolution" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 2014-12-09.
  23. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  24. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Aaliyah feat. Timbaland – We Need a Resolution". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 2014-12-09.
  25. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Aaliyah feat. Timbaland – We Need a Resolution". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 2014-12-09.
  26. ^ "Aaliyah: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  27. ^ "Official Dance Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  28. ^ "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  29. ^ "Aaliyah Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 2013-02-24.
  30. ^ "Aaliyah Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
  31. ^ "Aaliyah Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  32. ^ "Aaliyah Chart History (Tropical Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  • Cinquemani, Sal (October 15, 2001). "2001: Year in Music". Slant Magazine. Retrieved November 20, 2012. 
  • Clover, Joshua (August 2001). "Reviews". Spin. New York. 17 (8). Retrieved November 20, 2012. 

External links[edit]