Amerie - Rolling Down My Face
Amerie - Gotta Work
The year? 2002. The place? My parents’ basement. It was a day like any other day that took place during this time period. Most likely, I was sitting in front of the computer. I might have been chatting with a friend on AIM or working on some paper for school. Perhaps I was doing both of these things at the same time.
The television played in the background, as I not-quite-watched music videos on BET. Knowing my teenage self, it’s quite possible that I was also talking on the phone. But that’s a matter of little importance when it comes to this story.
While basking in the bliss of my technological haven, an incredibly sweet sound entered my eardrums. It was the opening instrumental line of “Why Don’t We Fall In Love?” Not to mention, the first time I had ever heard Rich Harrison’s production…
At that moment, I dropped everything I was doing and stared at the television. Sure, the clip wasn’t the most lavish or attention-grabbing thing I had ever seen, but I’ll be damned—the woman on that dusty television screen was absolutely beautiful. I sat there mesmerized as she sat on a park bench in her giant hoop earrings and flowy orange top.
When the video came to an end, I scribbled down the name on the screen. Amerie. It wasn’t long before I somehow downloaded the song and burned it onto a blank CD. There was even a remix with Ludacris!
Our love affair wasn’t reignited until 2005, and there was no way I could have seen it coming. Amerie stormed back onto the scene with “1 Thing”, her most aggressive song to date. The lyrics were practically shouted over a percussion-heavy beat, leaving you with no choice but to let them penetrate your soul.
This go-go tinged approach would become one of Amerie’s signature sounds. It’d also lead to a conflict inside my brain. Did I prefer the smooth R&B groove of her origins? Or was she at her best when she sounded like she was losing her mind? I’ve yet to answer this question.