An Artist Rejuvinated
In truth, the album's concept - the ups and downs of a romantic relationship - is nothing new. And none of the singles that have been released so far have performed particularly well. But this is the kind of album that needs to be listend to as a whole and from beginning to end; there's not a lot of gimmicky ringtone R&B tracks here. As mentioned above, the album tells the story of a romance from it's thrilling, hopeful beginning (the upbeat, confident "Tell Me You Love Me") to it's sorrowful, almost bitter end (the piano-laced ballad "Dear John"). In between, all the thrills and emotions of a relationship are explored, including infatuation ("Why R U"), trust issues ("More Than Love," featuring Fabolous) and nostalgia for the good times ("Pretty Brown," a sort-of homage to Mint Condition's 1991 hit "Breakin' My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)" which features Trey Songz).
Uplifting Self Empowerment
One of the more impressive things about the album is the track production. Amerie's best-known song to date is the Rich Harrison-produced dance track "1 Thing," and although there's probably not a single song on the album that will be as successful as that song was, the producers she works with here - Teddy Riley, Warryn Campbell, Sean Garrett and Bryan-Michael Cox, among others - managed to serve some backing tracks that fit her strong, unique singing style, instead of trying to shoehorn her voice into songs that don't suit her. What's more, Amerie manages to vocally glide over a number of different musical genres - pop, hip-hop, R&B and rock - and sound comfortable doing it. To put it simply, as a whole, this album is probably Amerie's best, most well-rounded work to date.