Despite the fact that she consistently produces far more entertaining/ adventurous R&B than a majority of her contemporaries and continues to have the undying support of most critics, she just can’t catch a break when it comes to commercial success. Both her In Love & War lead singles, the pleasantly ’90’s throwback-ish “Why R U” and the crackling “Heard Em All” (probably the best of her endless “1 Thing” retreads) were/ are bonafide JAMS, but for whatever inexplicable reason, neither one have managed to catch fire on the charts the way they deserve.
Hopefully her label has enough confidence in her to give her one more shot at a hit single (y’know how record companies love to drop acts with the quickness these days), and if they do, we pray they plant their focus on really pushing the Trey Songz duet “Pretty Brown”, another lovely nod to ’90’s contemporary soul thanks to it’s memory-jogging sample of Mint Condition’s 1992 smash “Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)”.
Sparking from the get-go with the familiar instrumental bursts that made the Mint Condition such a cherished favorite, “Pretty Brown” manages to sustain such high levels of pleasure throughout the rest of it’s length as Amerie and Trey circle round eachother’s high-pitched pipes, trying to figure out where all the heat went to in a once-solid romance. “Is it a crime to want that old thing back?/ Can it be wrong to miss the way you used to kiss me?” goes Amerie, her desperate, edge-of-sanity vocal still one of the greatest sounds to ever pierce the ears.
Catch an “alternate” version of the track featuring Lloyd Banks below, and don’t forget to pick up In Love & War when it drops November 3rd.