Release Date: Nov 3, 2009
Record label: Def Jam
Had the right breaks come her way back in 2005, when she was flying high with the single 1 Thing, Amerie Rogers could have been a Rihanna-sized pop/R&B star. She's an inventive producer, capable songwriter and sparkling singer; you can only wonder at her label's decision to under-promote her last album. Undaunted, she's come out slugging on her first record for new label Def Jam, bumping up 1 Thing's highly-strung, madly-in-love energy by several notches.
Music moves with whirlwind velocity, so it makes sense that 2009's pop landscape bears almost no resemblance to 2004's. Five years ago, Ciara was the reigning queen of urban pop; she still has a career, but she undoubtedly plays second fiddle to sexpots like Rihanna and Keri Hilson. Amerie Mi Marie Rogers has endured a similar fate. In 2005, Amerie's summery single "1 Thing" was that year's earworm du jour, but since then, the Korean-born singer has kept quiet -- an unwise move, considering that even headline-dominating rappers are failing spectacularly to sell records.
Amerie tore up the charts in 2005 with ”1 Thing,” then spent much of the next four years in major-label limbo. Nothing on her comeback effort. In Love & War matches the brash energy of her biggest hit — 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.
After "1 Thing" hit the Top Ten of the Hot 100 during the spring of 2005, Amerie was basically invisible. A follow-up single only grazed the Hip-Hop/R&B chart. Released in 2007, the adventurous Because I Love It, the singer's next album -- and, ironically, best work -- wasn't even issued in the U.S., possibly because its lead single slid off the chart within two weeks.
CARRIE UNDERWOOD “Play On” (19/Arista Nashville) The musical legacy of “American Idol” can, apart from a few hiccups, be distilled down to two words: Carrie Underwood. Her later success, though, was never preordained. When she won during that show’s fourth season in 2005 it was by no means clear that Ms. Underwood’s acclaim for singing songs by other people on television was as valid as other country singers’ acclaim for singing songs by other people in honky-tonks.