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Album Review: Amerie - "Because I Love It"

Good Girl Stays Good

About.com Rating 2.5 Star Rating

By

Album Review: Amerie -

Album cover © Sony Music.

In late 2006 and early 2007, Amerie was dissing Beyonce subtly and overtly, accusing the ex-Destiny's Child member of jacking her vocal style. And in doing that, Amerie opened herself to being compared to Beyonce on many levels (vocals, looks, sales, etc.). And on her third album, Because I Love It, Amerie confirms it once and for all: she's not on Beyonce's level in any category that matters (or even categories that don't matter, like height). That's not to say that Amerie isn't a good singer - she is. Beyonce may (arguably) have more talent, but Amerie isn't exactly mediocre. A little boring maybe, but not mediocre.

Pure & Wholesome

One of the main reasons that Amerie has only had one smash hit (2005's "1 Thing") in the United States so far is because of her plain, straightforward vocal style. But although she's about as exciting as wallpaper, what she does have, however, is plenty of vocal power, which she displays throughout the album. It's just that when she tries to coo in a sexy voice, like on "That's Where U R," that she comes up short.

No, Amerie's much better when it comes to belting out songs like "Gotta Work," which is one of the best songs on the album. It, and "Hate2LoveU," another song on Because I Love It, are basically updated versions of "1 Thing," complete with hard-thumping percussion and funky James Brown-style breaks.

But the album has its fair shre of pitfalls. "Crush" is nauseating bubblegum pop that sounds like it was written for - or by - a 13-year-old, instead of Amerie, who was born in January, 1978. "Crazy Wonderful," isn't much better, with it's lame, 1980s high school vibe.

But to her credit, despite her beef with Beyonce, Amerie is one of R&B's ultimate good girls. There's not a single profanity on Because I Love It, and not even a hint of vulgarness. And for that alone, she's deserves accolades. Although she comes across Pollyanna-ish on some songs, at least she's not trying to chase popular music trends or hop on bandwagons. Instead, she continues to cement her own identity in the music world. Her evolution into a vibrant, powerful singer is evident.

She's no Beyonce Knowles, but that's okay. She's Amerie Rogers, and that's enough.

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