Anyone who knows anything about Amerie knows that she is not afriad to stand out in the crowd of R&B/Pop females today. From her 2002 debut "All I Have" to her utterly perfect 2005 "Touch" album. She has been building her own signature sound from working with producer Rich Harrison. On In Love & War she builds on to that sound by staying true to herself but adding new elements to her already impressive catalog.
1.Tell Me You Love Me 9/10 - Classic Amerie, it's an uptempo track which we have come to expect from Amerie after such songs like "1 Thing" , "Talkin Bout" , " Gotta Work" & "Take Control" off of previous albums. It's a strong tune in which Amerie damands that she is going to make her lover do just that, love her. The bridge and chrous are addictive and I found myself bouncing up and down in my car when listening to this hot tune.
2.Heard Em All 5/10- Not her best in my opinion. It's a nice tune to listen to when you are in the club dancing but as a track off an album, it left me feeling more filler than steller. It shows Amerie using tribal beats and chants. It's good for a first listen but soon loses it's flair after the third listen. Highlights come at the bridge where Amerie slows it down and you feel her raspy voice like we love to hear it.
3.Dangerous 4/10- This is where Amerie takes her sound in a new direction. Incorporating guitars with the percussions, it doesn't work here as well as it does on "Higher". My biggest problem with this track was that lyrically it seemed a bit empty. But it's a well done track in the sense that you get the feel of Amerie is taking different risk.
4.Higher 10/10 -Hands down one of the best tunes if not the best off of the album. Lyrically as well as vocally Amerie is at her best here. The song grabs your attention from the start with Amerie stating "When I was a younger girl, nobody told me about the facts of life". And later asking "Do you feel like a man, because you got my heart in your hands". This is the risk that I wanted to hear from her, with the guitar riff building throughout the song. She gives a great funk vibe in this single hopeful, I got an Ike & Tina era vibe from her off this tune.
5.Why R U 10/10- Probably one of Ameries best singles. Reminiscent of the R&B tunes of the early 90's, it feels like a lost track off of Mary J. Bliges "What's The 411" or "My Life" albums. It's a mid tempo track that you will find yourself bobbing your head to recklessly by the end of the track.
6.Pretty Brown 7/10- A duet with R&B singer Trey Songz. It's nice mid tempo track that samples "Breakin My Heart" by Mint Condition. This tracks seems to be building up quite a following. It's not my favorite off of the album but it is a nice tune with two underrated R&B crooners.
7.More Than Love Feat.Fabolous 10/10- A nice midtempo tune with a great relationship argument breakdown after the first verse, in the vein of classic 70's tunes. Fabolous isn't a heavy presence on the track, he comes and goes but he still adds a nice feel to the track balancing the female and male perspective out.
8.Swag Back 5/10- Lyrically I loved this song, but something about it made me feel that it could have been a tune on Beyonce or Mariah Careys albums. I don't know if it's because of the production or if it doesn't sound like an Amerie song, but it just took me a while to get into this track. Amerie sings about getting her strength (or also known as the tired IMO phrase "swag") back after getting out and over a relationship. And declaring that her head is clear and that she is surviving.
9.You're A Star 7 1/2 /10- A pretty fine umtempo tune for an Interlude, I wish she would have stretched it out to an entire song.
10.Red Eye 10/10- Another grade A tune. Amerie sings about taking a lover around the world, whether or not she is talking about...joining the uh...mile high club is up for your own interpretation. This tune has a nice slow mellow feel to it that you can relax to or whatever. There is no doubt that this should be her next single.
11.The Flowers 10/10- This tune reminded me of "Float" off of her "All I Have" album. With the piano driven force behind it throughout the track. A great mid-tempo R&B tune that I feel could become a classic. Amerie sings about a love lost and how he took her love for granted when he had her, that she wish he would thought to give her the Flowers (love) when they were together so she could have smelt them, but now it's to little to late.
12.Different People 10/10- Great tune in which Amerie sings about how she and her lover have grown apart and have changed. How he has grown more and more critcal of her and her appearance, how she doesn't judge him and in return he should do the same with her, how he is starting to take her love for granted. This track could have been a great setup for "The Flowers", this is a well done tune.
13.Dear John 8/10- Another song lyrcally that is well above average, but the only thing that kept me from giving this a 10/10 was that it sounded like another Mariah Carey tune from one of her latest three albums and not an Amerie tune.
14.Heard Em All 3/10- Lil Wayne adds nothing to this track. They should have left this off the album.
I wish I would have heard Amerie push herself more vocally throughout the album, like I did on "Higher". But all in all this album is definitely worth the buy. If you want to listen to a female artist of today who can give you a nice dance tune with substance and a great ballad. All The while mantaining her musical integrity, not giving into musical fads, get this album.