Blah, blah, marketing budgets, blah, blah illegal downloading, blah, blah fickle consumers. Were all familiar with the various excuses artists and labels use to explain away poor album sales. Of course, if you ask most consumers, they usually tell you that most CDs just arent worth their money. True or not, this makes it all the more frustrating when a deserving artist doesnt get label support for her efforts. Such is the case with Ameries Because I Love It (Sony/BMG/Columbia), which has recently been released in Europe and Asia but currently has no American release date. Whatever the logic behind the decision, the albums quality cant be a part of it. While frequent collaborator Rich Harrison is missing in action, Because I Love It still supplies the sound thats become Ameries signature. The hip-hop, funk and go-go elements blend smoothly to provide a live, big-band feel. Hate 2 Love U and Gotta Work deliver on expectations without coming off as formulaic. Ameries ability to convey excitement without sounding insane is akin to Diana Ross (who only sounds crazy when she speaks, not sings). No, her voice isnt quite strong enough to belt em out to the cheap seats, but she makes up for it with her range of attitudes. Her quirky Debbie Harry impression on Some Like It is an acquired taste, but the entertaining performance is brave, if nothing else.When stepping out of the club style and into something more sedate, the products are competent, though little more. While traditional ballads like Somebody Up There serve their purpose, theyre nothing memorable. The slow-jams are mostly a waste of real-estate since the high-tempo prospects are the main attraction. Amerie doesnt fit neatly into any specific genre anyway, so she might as well leave the standard R&B fare to the army of standard R&B chicks available to sing them.To be fair, hits are never easy to predict, so it isnt surprising that Columbia chose to hedge their bets by first releasing the album to the more flexible international markets. Still, both the album and Amerie herself have gotten so much right that one has to wonder where she would be if given a proper chance. Because I Love It may not be on the shelves of your local Target, but the internet has made it simple to order imports, so take the little bit of extra time. Its worth it.