Definitions

Take Control

Take Control

"Take Control" is an R&Bfunk song written by Cee-Lo Green, Mike Caren, and Amerie for Amerie's third studio album, Because I Love It (2007). Released as the album's lead single in late 2006, the Caren-produced song contains excerpts from Tom Zé's 1971 song "Jimmy Renda-Se", written by Tom Zé and Waldez, and elements of Hall & Oates' 1980 song "You Make My Dreams", written by Daryl Hall, John Oates, and Sara Allen.

Recording

After Cee-Lo wrote the song, he approached Amerie to record it. Amerie said she did not normally do commissions and record other people's songs because they did not work for her, but because she had "always loved" Cee-Lo since his time with Goodie Mob, she agreed. She felt the song was not uptempo enough to suit her, so she wrote a hook, a bridge, and added a horn section to add to the song her "signature" and "a different flavour", making it a "dance record".

Tori Alamaze, the reference singer on the song, said that it was originally offered to her, but Amerie denied this, saying she thought it "really wack on [Alamaze's] part" to make such a claim.

Release and reception

Many critics gave "Take Control" positive reviews; Rolling Stone, for example, placed "Take Control" on its top 100 songs of the year list at number ninety-eight. Another popular magazine, Entertainment Weekly, stated "Take Control may be an ode to submission, but it hardly holds back. The Village Voice named "Take Control" the fifth best single release of the fourth quarter of 2006, commenting on "how great Amerie's joyous chirp sounds over sharp, percussive old-school funk tracks. Here, Cee-Lo laces her with spy-movie guitars and horn-stabs and a drum track that keeps building and building, adding on congas and handclaps and tambourines without ever disturbing the tense little groove at the song's center ... and Amerie finally finds room for a bit of grit in her voice. The Guardian wrote, "it twitches and jerks along a nagging Tom Zé sample, but it's a song with such a sparse arrangement that interest has to be sustained entirely by the voice, which Amerie does spectacularly, making it absolutely clear who is really cracking the whip.

According to Amerie, "Some Like It" was originally chosen as the first single from Because I Love It; after the release of similar-sounding singles by Kelis ("Bossy"), Fergie ("London Bridge"), and Justin Timberlake ("SexyBack"), and because Amerie thought "Take Control" was "kind of different", the decision was made to release it as the lead single instead. The single debuted at number seventy-two on the U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and peaked at number sixty-six; it failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. After the failure of the single, the U.S. release of Because I Love It was pushed back repeatedly. In the UK the song debuted on the C-list section of BBC Radio 1's playlist and was Scott Mills's "Record of the Week" from March 26 to April 1, before moving up to the A-list. "Take Control" peaked at number ten on the UK Singles Chart, remaining in the top forty for six weeks.

Music video and remixes

The music video was shot in late October 2006 and was premiered on the Internet on December 3. It was released to television in the United States on January 15, 2007 and was selected as MTV Jams's "Jam of the Week". Directed by Scott Franklin, it borrows greatly from Michelangelo Antonioni's 1966 film Blowup, with some of the key scenes recreated in a contemporary setting. Unlike the film, however, flashing captions onscreen make the assassination involved more obvious. Amerie and some acolytes are shown removing the photographer's blowups from his apartment, which is implied but not shown in the film. The video has a short introduction that involves Amerie singing another song from Because I Love It, "That's What U R". A writer for Entertainment Weekly called the video "nonsense, just the way I like my music videos to be" and "the stuff that music video dreams are made of ... [it] pretends to make sense by taking on something more complex than Amerie shimmying around in hot pants and heels, but don't let it fool you. The hair tossing and strut-strutting is the same here as it is in "1 Thing", just on location this time ... Love it!".

At the end of March 2007, a remix of "Take Control" by DJ Camille Starr, and featuring British-Asian vocalist S-Endz, began to circulate on the internet. It is a bhangra-fused club remix of the song. The official radio remix featuring South Korean singer Se7en was aired in May 2007, and it is only to be featured on the Asian editions of Because I Love It. Other versions include Tracy Young's Taking Control mix and the Karmatronic mix.

Track listings and formats

U.S. promotional single

  1. "Take Control" (Main Version)
  2. "Take Control" (Instrumental Version)
  3. "Take Control" (Accapella Version)
  4. "Take Control" (Call Out Hook 1)
  5. "Take Control" (Call Out Hook 2)French CD single
  6. "Take Control" (Main Version)
  7. "Take Control" (Karmatronic Remix)
  8. "Crunk Didi (Losing U)"U.S. 12" single
  9. "Take Control" (Main Version)
  10. "Take Control" (Instrumental Version)
  11. "Take Control" (Accapella Version)
  12. "That's What U R"
European CD 1

  1. "Take Control" (Main Version)
  2. "Take Control" (Tracy Young Remix)
  3. "That's What U R"
  4. "Take Control" (Video)European CD 2
  5. "Take Control" (Main Version)
  6. "Take Control" (Karmatronic Remix)

Charts

Chart (2006) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 66
Chart (2007) Peak
position
European Hot 100 Singles 25
Euro 200 27
Finnish Singles Chart 9
French SNEP Singles Chart 52
German Singles Chart 64
Irish Singles Chart 23
Chart (2007) Peak
position
Lithuanian Airplay Chart 8
LCC Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 1
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 40
Norwegian Singles Chart 19
Slovak IFPI Airplay Chart 50
Swiss Singles Chart 67
Turkish Airplay Chart 19
UK Singles Chart 10

References

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