Amerie – "Tell Me You Love Me" / "Dear John"

Finally material from Amerie’s long-awaited fourth album is starting to surface after the fantastic single “Why RU?”. “Tell Me You Love Me” is a funky, horn-driven 60s-style production much in the vein of some of the tracks from her last album like “Hate2LoveU” and “Gotta Work” and her Rich Harrison-produced singles like “1 Thing”. Although its not amazing, I like the concept of Amerie’s tracks like this, she really goes into the past and takes the influences from there, however, I’m expecting better quality tracks than this to make the cut. I’m also disappointed if it is in fact produced by Teddy Riley, as I know he’s capable of much more than biting Amerie’s past producers and sounds.

“Dear John” thankfully hasn’t been confirmed for the album, a boring Stargate-esque piano/808-driven ballad not like anything that Amerie normally does as her exciting catalogue of songs proves. I’m hoping this is just a rough conceptual track which has leaked early.
Although these tracks are hardly quality material, I know Amerie always delivers and the first official track from the project, that is the single “Why RU?” still has me excited about the it. Amerie also recently gave us an indepth preview of what the album will sound like:

Album concepts: “This album is very personal, whether I’m talking about my own past situations or situations the people close to me went through. I really wanted to make sure that everything I was writing wasn’t too far from myself”.

Creating beats: “Usually I’d get a raw instrumental, and from there I’d pick out parts and sounds, and then format them to create the arrangement of the song. Once I wrote and vocaled, I’d talk to the producer again about adding additional instrumentation I felt was necessary, like strings, additional keys, building the bridge, just basically formatting the record”.

Sounds & Direction: “For this album, I told people I needed music that was really heavy, something with knock. Nothing too pretty; I wanted something that sounded ‘70’s-ish, when rock had a lot of soul in it, and it was still so related to the blues. And of course it needed that hip-hop element”.

Tell Me U Love Me: “I didn’t really have to say much to Teddy. I told him I wanted something signature ‘me’. He knew exactly what to do. It was like magic. I wrote that record freestyling in the vocal booth after hearing it for the first time. Killer”.

Higher: “I told Warryn [Campbell] I wanted a live, hard, rock sound, something mean, something with swagger. I wanted the intrumentation to have a strong personality before I even opened my mouth. He started playing the bass guitar, and I was sitting there creating the lyrics and melody and it all came together really organically. That’s what I mean when I say that this album, in addition to being an extension of my first, is also an extension of ‘1 Thing’ because ‘1 Thing’ has its go-go roots but it’s also very soulful, ‘70’s rock. I went from that and took it all the way live”.

Why R U: “[The song] is about being in a relationship and hating that you’re so attached to this person. A lot of the songs on this album deal with wanting to be done with a relationship but you’re just not really ready to leave, so you hang around and wait for a person to change. I really wanted the lyrical content to be real conversation. I didn’t want anything to be sugar-coated”.

Different People: Amerie enlisted the Australian producer M-Phazes who tracked a mid-tempo backdrop for the songstress to explain how important it is to accept your partner for who they are.

Pretty Brown: (also produced by M-Phazes) Amerie hooks up with Trey Songz to sing about a relationship that is quickly approaching the breaking point.

More Than Love: As well as In Love & War’s head-nodding first single ‘Why R U’, Amerie also linked up with the Buchanans for this riotous track.

Heard ‘Em All: On the sexy, catchy ladies anthem, Amerie let her long locks down over Sean Garrett and Eric Hudson’s up-tempo club track while challenging a prospective lover to bring something different to the table.

Definitely an interesting read, which has me even more amped for the album “In Love & War”, which has now been pushed back to September 8th, which will also hopefully give my girl more time to actually promote her fantastic single and its Ray Kay-directed video!

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