Review Roundup: Amerie – ‘In Love & War’

In Love & War

Amerie’s fourth album In Love & War ships out today. Did the singer’s Def Jam debut come out victorious with critics? Find out below.

Entertainment Weekly: Nothing on her comeback effort In Love & War matches the brash energy of her biggest hit [“1 Thing”]—though it’s not for lack of trying, with many of these tunes shamelessly mimicking that one. Most settle for a less distinctive funk-pop sound that’s still more adventurous than the majority of contemporary R&B. B

Rolling Stone: On Amerie’s fourth album, she excels at getting in your face without overdosing on divatude—not much excessive Beyoncé-size vocalizing here. The lack of pretense can’t save snoozy slow ones like “The Flowers,” but some of the uptempo tracks borrow the basic approach of her great 2005 single “1 Thing.” 3 out of 5

The Washington Post: Amerie’s fourth studio album, In Love & War, contains neither [Rich] Harrison nor a hit of “1 Thing” magnitude, but it shows she can put together a solid collection of dance tracks all by herself—with the help of a few good producers (such as Teddy Riley and Sean Garrett), of course.

The New York Times: Amerie is still looking over her shoulder, for music and attitude, to Beyoncé, especially the percussive chants and kiss-offs on Beyoncé’s 2006 album, B’Day. But Amerie’s raw voice, blunt lyrics, and rhythmic ingenuity make In Love & War a designer knockoff that at times rivals the original.

Rap-Up’s Favorite Tracks: “Heard ’Em All,” “Dangerous,” “Higher,” “Swag Back”

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47 Comments

  1. Jacques Theprophetblog

    F*CK THE NEW YORK TIMES!

    AMERIE DID BEYONCE’S “B’DAY” SOUND FIRST, BEY WAS THE ONE WHO STOLE IT FROM AMERIE IN THE FIRST PLACE!

    THESE FOOLS SHOULD GET THEIR FACTS STRAIGHT BEFORE THEY PRINT THAT MESS!

    [Reply]

    me again Reply:

    @Jacques Theprophetblog, Actually Beyonce did it first.. The same guy who did Crazy in Love did 1 thing.. Crazy came out first

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    Matt G Reply:

    @me again,
    Actually, Amerie’s debut album, All I Have, came out in 2002 and was entirely produced by Rich Harrison. Then a year later Beyonce used Rich Harrison on Crazy in Love. Amerie’s second album, Touch, came out in 2005 and gave us the super aggressive vocal styling and heavy drum and percussion based beats Amerie is known for. Then in 2006 Beyonce’s B’day was released which was a huge departure from her debut that was eletctic and slower paced. B’day gave us Beyonce singing super aggressive on her tracks, like Amerie, as well as nearly all her tracks were heavy drum and percussion driven records, again like Amerie. Beyonce’s vocal styling on Greenlight, from B’Day, even sampled Amerie’s vocal styling on her biggest hit 1 thing. To say Beyonce pioneered this sound is not accurate. She may have utilized it and made great music but she did not pioneer it. That credit belongs to Amerie and Rich Harrison, for bringing go-go beats and the aggressive singing DC is known for to the worldwide stage.

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    100% NIKEHEAD Reply:

    @Matt G, Agreed. Whoever thinks beyonce is original smh think again this chick jacked Ameries style and sound she just made it so it would look like her own but Amerie is the originator of it. The net stockings which were in 1 thing, Beyonce used in single ladies, Rich Harrison the producer of Ameries first album then worked with Beyonce for Crazy in Love, not only that but they were on the same label (Colombia records). The promotion that Amerie should have got she didnt because of fu*kin Craponce. That was the reason she left Colombia and went to Def Jam.

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    Nathaniel Garcia Reply:

    @Matt G, is this article legit??

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    Nijia Reply:

    @Matt G, I totally Agree. Whoever thinks Beyonce pioneer this sound don’t know good music. Amerie sound is heavy drums and aggressive raw vocals which is her signature sound. Beyonce copies off of everybody who basically brings change she an attention seeker. Its just like when the media tried to say Jlo was coping Beyonce when Jlo came out in 1997 in high heels blonde high lights dancing. I was like no media Beyonce copied Jlo. Its sad that the media brainwashes people into thinking Beyonce is a pioneer when shes not its all on youtube.

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  2. javonscott

    WTF! LIKE NEW YORK TIMES NEED TO GET THEY SH*T TOGETHER! BEY STOLE THAT SH*T FROM AMERIE!!!

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  3. tell'em

    New York Times need to get their facts straight. Amerie is an originator not some swagga jackin’ knockoff.

    In Love & War is great though. I recommend it to all the real RnB lovers out there. Go buy it!

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  4. Luke

    I lvoe this album!

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  5. Rejeeha

    No beyonce’s freakim dress like talkin bout

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  6. Maya What

    The New York Times done lost there mine and are pretty much confussed. We all know who stole Amerie style and sound Ms. Beyonce as Amerie was rockin it way before Ms. Knowles. I hate so called writers who write the wrong sh*t! I recommend the the album and give it a score of a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

    Go buy the album!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

    HYSTRIC Reply:

    @Maya What, Umm, no. “Crazy in Love” came out before “1 Thing”. So, they’re right. Beyonce was doing it FIRST.

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    Jacques Theprophetblog Reply:

    @HYSTRIC, Um Amerie was around before “1 Thing” honey.

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  7. B

    you guys need to chill, the only reason why their music could sound alike is not that fault but that of the producers… both AMERIE and BEY use Rich Harrison. Thats what happens when with the producers these days!

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  8. AAA

    Damn they went in on her, but I like the albulm

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  9. 100% NIKEHEAD

    OH HELL NOOOOO! Lookin over her shoulder to Beyonce? R u serious??? First off Amerie put that Go Go sound in her music before Beyonce did with Crazy in Love, Beyonce stole the leotard idea from Ameries One Thing video and put it in her Single Ladies video cmon New York Times, Rolling Stone get your facts and shit together whoever wrote that shit need to be fuckin fired real talk. Im getting so mad. Just because Beyonce is the biggest female artist there tryna say she started all that when she clearly didnt, she jacked Ameries style, thats why in an interview she said i always try to reinvent myself and thats exactly what she did with this album. Fuck the critics this album gets a B+ rating!!!!! Enough said!

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  10. 100% NIKEHEAD

    OH HELL NOOOOO! Lookin over her shoulder to Beyonce? R u serious??? First off Amerie put that Go Go sound in her music before Beyonce did with Crazy in Love, Beyonce stole the leotard idea from Ameries One Thing video and put it in her Single Ladies video cmon New York Times, Rolling Stone get your facts and shit together whoever wrote that shit need to be fu*kin fired real talk. Im getting so mad. Just because Beyonce is the biggest female artist there tryna say she started all that when she clearly didnt, she jacked Ameries style, thats why in an interview Amerie said “i always try to reinvent myself” and thats exactly what she did with this album. F*ck the critics this album gets a B+ rating!!!!! Enough said!

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  11. 100% NIKEHEAD

    And whats pissing me off even more is That In Love and War isnt even on itunes this morning. Def Jam what is the deal??? I see Rihannas Russian Roulette and Rated R pre sale and not Ameries album???

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  12. Jason

    Damn, they went hard on Amerie!lol still gonna buy the cd though

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  13. 100% NIKEHEAD

    I would like to know why In Love and War is not on itunes right now wtf. An album as good as that should have been there at 1:00am!!!! Amerie is too talented for this shit to happen smh.

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  14. 100% NIKEHEAD

    You got Rihannas Rated R album cover on the front of Itunes albums and not Ameries and today is the release of her album how fu*ked up is that. Today is Ameries day, Def Jam get your shit together and stop doin your artists shady. I cant even believe this shit!!! They dont want the album to do well =(

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  15. Baron

    I’ll be going to Best Buy today to purchase my copy of the album. But I will say that although Amerie’s first LP, which had Rich Harrison all over it, dropped first, Beyonce took the sound and ran with it. It happens. It’s a testament to her ability as a performer and a record producer, to be able to take sounds from different producers and put her own twist on it.

    Music reviewers are going to remember who did it best, not who did it first. Amerie’s the underdog though, so she’ll always have my support because she should be getting more attention. I love both these women!

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  16. Me and Me

    Agreed with 100% Nikehead

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  17. An0thrDream

    It seems like the overall review is that this album is just average.

    I hate how they gotta compare every female to Beyonce though, its rediculous.

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  18. Taijmonae Parker

    i rele mad at def jam n itunes cuz of course they got rihanna front n center but Amerie album which came out 2day doesnt even have the tracklisting on the store wtf

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  19. stilldirrtyja

    i think everyone has said enough about amerie not stealing beyonce’s sound, i agree with it. honestly, I don’t think they really have similar sounds. but beyond that drama, i think IL&W is a killer album. I’ve been banging it since last week and got my copy today. I hate how underestimated amerie is and it annoys me that she doesn’t receive the credit she deserves.

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  20. Ankka

    Even if they do compare her to beyonce , AMERIE has something beyonce will NEVER have & that is TALENT!!! I hope she will make the top 5 with this album!! & Def Jam sucks!! they are not helping her at all!

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  21. Ritchie

    The real question is can any BLACK FEMALE ARTIST do anything without getting compared to Beyonce??? I mean Damn! They act like that Beyonce came up with half the crap she does. Meanwhile she’s been jacking people since she came onto the scene. I’m sick of that country bumpkin lol. And yet another album in the shitter thanks to Def Jam. All these guys do is work with Rihanna. Screw everyone else. Good luck Amerie I heard the album and its really great. Best RnB album out today.

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  22. 100% NIKEHEAD

    What pisses me off even more is that Rihanna is already a breaktrough artist who has had a highly successfull album so Amerie should have her chance now. Def Jam didnt promote this album like they should have. I bought 3 copies of In Love and War today and gave one away. Her first week sales better be decent or im gonna go crazy. Def Jam yall r fu*ked up real talk. This album deserves the best promotion possible. Its better than Craponces Sacha Fierce or any other r&b album that has dropped this year. Amerie is bringin back that feel good music we use to have in the 90′s that we all loved and wish we still had.

    [Reply]

    Taijmonae Parker Reply:

    @100% NIKEHEAD, i fully agree this ablum is so good

    [Reply]

  23. Ron

    I wish iTunes people will fix the problem soon. After all, iTunes store is still one of the most popular online music store and the downloading statistics do matter somehow.

    [Reply]

    100% NIKEHEAD Reply:

    @Ron, yes it definately does. Keri Hilsons album did well because of Itunes, it was the #3 most downloaded album on itunes the week it was released. Ameries album could do as good too if they would have done the same thing but the full album is still not on itunes smh!

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  24. musicaddictjane

    Ok….as one of the dedicated and biggest Amerie fans out there (repping Canada) I feel that the comparison of Beyonce needs to stop. I am fed up with every female singer supposedly sounding like Beyonce… where is the orginality to that!? SERIOUSLY! I am really fed up with the industry a little bit with comparing every sound or singer sounding the same. The truth is that Amerie had 1 Thing first and Rich was on her album FIRST; Beyonce copied that because Beyonce is just famous and people buy into her stuff just because it is more radioed played. B has promo every where and I know she works hard, but my question is how is everyone supposed to break free from the popular artists curse that is going around!? Trying to do something different gets you back criticism and wishing that they turn back the hands of time. Seriously this album is great; I had to download mine, why you may ask cause the CANADIAN COPIES DON’T COME OUT UNTIL NOVEMBER 10TH here…

    Also in album news, I swear HMV was the only store to have Ryan Leslie’s album Transition (and that isn’t even the Delux edition… no DVD) and guess how many copies i found at HMV (apparently they only had 8!) I bought two! which means there is only 6 copies left… holy macro!

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  25. K

    This album is GREAT!
    Amerie is so talented. Love her!

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  26. amazing

    Best album of 2009 hands down!

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  27. nathan

    to Matt G

    is the article you posted legit?

    [Reply]

  28. Maya What

    @ HYSTRIC your wrong darling please read Matt G’s reply he has it on point. Amerie’s album All I Have came out in 2002 and it was totally produced by Rich Harrison. In 2004 Beyonce workd with him on Dangerously In Love but only on Crazy In Love. Amerie came out with Touch in 2005 again album produced by Rich Harrison 1 Thing was on it. In 2006 Ms. Bey was shooked by Amerie’s success and the success of Touch. (platinum)Beyonce went back to him and lets be real the majority of that album sounds like a knock off of Amerie’s material.

    So HYSTRIC your wrong dead wrong!!!!!!!!

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  29. Maya What

    The thing that kills me with Beyonce and this is real talk. Lts’ start with the good. I think the girl can sing, dance and she’s a great performer on stage. What I don’t like about her is she is full of shit. Beyonce act’s like she writes her own music and she don’t. Irreplaceable her biggest hit ever she said she wrote and Ne-Yo called her out on it that he wrote it. Beyonce said she wrote Ego then we found out Chrisette Michele wrote it. Next Beyonce said she wrote Video Phone and her sister Solange wrote it with some guy but they gave it to Bey. What else kills me is that whole thing she did a few years ago on the BET Award show with her coming from the celing with the thigh high boots and the trench coat Britney did it on the MTV Music awards. Then she did that whole robot outfit thing and she whore it Sweet Dreams singer Kylie Minogue whore. The her video Single Ladies that whole choreographer was done back in the 70′s by Gwen Verdon do a google search. I just think she jacks a lot of shit.

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    Will Reply:

    @Maya What, Agreed! Beyonce does not write her own songs and if she gets writing credits on the songs i dont buy it. The industry is shady. All i know is that Amerie writes her own material. She co wrote most of this In Love and War album, now thats talent!!!

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  30. phil

    The Album is Great, I bought two copies. Amerie will be on the Wendy Williams show tonight…yes tonight Wednesday 11/4/09. Amerie will also be on BET’s 106 & park Thursday 11/6/09

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  31. Maya What

    I’m god thanks Phil I will be watching! xoxoxoxo

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  32. Maya What

    Sorry I meant to say oh my god thanks Phil I will be watching!

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  33. Chris

    This is what happens when reviewers only know R&B artists that crossover to Pop. All they did was mention Beyonce and Amerie’s biggest crossover hit “1 Thing.” This album is nothing like either “B’Day” or “1 Thing.” It’s a Rock/Funk/Hip-Hop infused album and perfect. It not overproduced and she doesn’t seem to be forcing anything onto the listener. Even the interlude is hot. I do think “Because I Love It” is crafted better, but this effort is on par with it. Too bad she’ll never have the success she deserves.

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  34. Harvey

    PEOPLE REALLY NEED TO GET THEIR FACTS STRAIGHT. That’s all I’m saying. Amerie did it first…been there, done that.

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  35. lyna

    i’d be happy is she did 25k her first week, yea its low but with today’s standards there’s still hope for the project if it at least sales that much the first couple of days. since def jam is doin her dirty she needs as much online promo as she can get.

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  36. Kevin

    WTF is New York Times talking about?? Amerie doesn’t look to anyone but herself and especially not Beyonce. They aren’t even comparable they’re two different artists in their own right. And let me add that it pisses me off reading comments from people and ignorant critics who know nothing about the artist. I’m on my real shit on this one… first off who was the first to work with Rich Harrison? Not Beyonce it was Amerie. She brought his music to the forefront of the music industry AND THEN Beyonce snatched him up for her song “Crazy In Love” in 2003 ONE YEAR AFTER Amerie’s debut album “All I Have” was released and executively produced by Rich Harrison. Then two years later in 2005 Amerie blew up with her biggest hit to date “1 Thing” and her sophmore album was primarily produced by who? Rich Harrison. Then J-Lo dropped “Get Right” a little after “1 Thing” and then Usher and a number of other artists began working with Rich. And critics wanna act like Amerie looks to Beyonce and her sound when Amerie had the sound first. Amerie follows nobody but herself that’s why I love her music. It doesn’t sound like everyone else’s shit. And I LOVE me some Beyonce. She’s another one of my favorite artists. But critics and other people think that all Amerie had was “1 Thing” and she tried to immitate Beyonce’s success and that’s not the case. Amerie had solid album sales with her debut album and success on pop and R&B charts with “Why Don’t We Fall In Love”. Then she had “1 Thing”, and we all know she’s had mad love overseas. Get your facts straight before you wanna compare artists. They’re two different people doin they own thing.

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  37. Curtis

    Actually, if people remember well, when Destiny’s Child had their tribute by the World Music Awards, Amerie as well as Rihanna and Tierra Marie were the ones doing the tribute because they were influenced by DC and we all know Beyonce was the focal point of DC.

    Secondly, Beyonce has been doing live instrumentation and funk BEFORE Amerie with DC and Solo. In fact, CIL is a progression from Work It Out(and Shining Star). From Austin Powers. In fact, I will quote from Beyonce herself and this is BEFORE she(and Amerie came on the scene) became a solo artist: Coincidentally, “Shining Star”, a song that I have always loved, is going to be in Austin Powers 3. I want to bring that same funky type of sound back for my solo album. I want to do a 2002 updated version of that live instrumentation. Back then people had a more open mind. They liked to hear everything from horns to full-on orchestras. And jazz was so popular—it influnced so many other types of music. Black people, white people, all different races, were grooving to the same beat. Music was mixed up in the best possible way. Those songs had heart as well as soul—they’re timeless. I think people will forever be listening to the music from back in the seventies. It sounds more progressive than outdated. That’s the kind of praise I hope to get for my solo album.

    Not to mention Work it Out was produced by THE NEPTUNES. Not Rich Harrison. Had nothing to do with Amerie. That’s the sound Bey always wanted and because of the success of CIL, she went further with that sound on B’day. Not to mention Bey was singing aggressively since Survivor(The Song, not the whole album). Come on, Amerie fans. Amerie is hot, but she had nothing to do with Bey bringing the funk like she does. Bey has always done that.

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