- Released: July 30, 2002
- Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
Q - 10/02, p.1003 stars out of 5
- "...A smooth R&B album...Her skills lie in the delivery..."
Personnel includes: Amerie (vocals); Rich Harrison (various instruments).
Principally recorded at Cue Recording Studios, Falls Church, Virginia and The Hit Factory, New York, New York.
Blessed with a sweet vocal style and a sophisticated stylistic presence, Amerie stakes her claim as a contender for her generation's go at the hip-hop soul crown. Teaming with Mary J. Blige producer/songwriter Rich Harrison, the 22-year-old D.C. native serves up ALL I HAVE, a dozen cuts whose subject matter is steeped in the vagaries of life and love. Prior to this impressive debut, Amerie took a path akin to fellow divette Ashanti and collaborated with a number of hip-hop brethren including Nas and Royce da 5' 9". This apprenticeship served the former military brat well as her silky delivery fuses well with Harrison's harder-edged beats on the percolating "Got To Be There," off-kilter "Hatin' On You" and jittery ambiance of "I Just Died" (which Amerie describes as being about "a passion that is like no other").
Slow jams are equally impressive as Amerie sensually unwinds throughout "Nothing Like Loving You," the airy "Float" (and its abundance of vocal melisma), and the acoustic guitar-dappled title cut. In a field crowded with the likes of the aforementioned Ashanti, Monica, and Brandy, Amerie makes her mark with a debut that makes her stand out amongst a field vying for Mary J. Blige's hip-hop soul throne.