Ameriie isn’t the most obvious candidate for a comeback next year, but her goals are so deliriously ambitious they’re impossible for me to root against. Her biggest and best song, as Amerie, was 2005′s “1 Thing,” a joyous, Meters-sampling Rich Harrison production that in hindsight comes across as almost a platonic ideal of another Harrison-produced stunner, Beyoncé and Jay Z‘s “Crazy in Love,” if the latter song were stripped of celebrity narrative. For better or worse, such narrative tends to help make pop singers into celebrities, and the next album, 2007′s underrated Because I Love It, never even saw release in the United States; after 2009′s mostly solid but commercially lackluster In Love & War, Amerie became Ameriie, explaining her silently pronounced name change as one about “vibration.”
The vibes must be promising for 2015. Ameriie told Audrey Magazine she has two albums in the works — BILI , a reference to Because I Love It, and Cymatika Vol. 1, the first in a planned trilogy named after “the study of visual sound” — and also has in mind a possible free EP and two novels, plus her new Books Beauty Ameriie YouTube channel. Oh, and she’s touring the United Kingdom in March. Earlier this year, Ameriie shared “What I Want,” which samples the hip-hop staple “Apache” and harks back to the giddy soul-pop updates of both “1 Thing” and Because I Love It standout “Gotta Work.” Now comes “Mustang,” which veers into a sparser, more electronic direction and describes a woman who’s “a wild one.” If its portrayal of bucking-bronco dangerousness doesn’t entirely convince, it’s a welcome return nonetheless. Besides, a consistently spelled name is for those of us still comfortably in our stables.