This week's r'n'b releases reviewed


In Love & War Def Jam ***

Before Rihanna came along twirling her umbrella, the smart money was on Amerie Rogers to become the r’n’b pop queenpin. On the back of the fantastic 1 Thingsingle in 2005, Amerie’s onwards and upwards trajectory seemed assured. Yet her follow-up album, Because I Love It,failed to make a mark, and she’s now back trying to make up for lost time with this fourth album. Rogers is a fighter, and she approaches In Love & Warwith much gusto. When this works, it’s delightful. You get a hint of her brash bravado on the vibrant, catchy Heard ’Em All. There are also some inventive touches on the snappy Dangerousto go with those sweet vocals, and Higheris a fierce creation. But, like so many others in the new r’n’b school, the sickly, treacly ballads are Amerie’s downfall. Fewer ballads and more bangers next time out, please. www.love amerie.com

Download tracks: Heard ’Em All, Dangerous