Fight or Flight is the debut studio album by American pop singer-songwriter Emily Osment. The album was released in Canada on September 28, 2010, and in the US October 5, 2010 by Wind-Up Records. She has worked with producers from her previous musical efforts such as Matthew Bair, as well as Toby Gad, Nellee Hooper and Mandi Perkins. Fight or Flight mainly draws from the genre of dance-pop while incorporating electropop, and containing dancehall and techno, among other influences. Lyrical themes include topics of love, freedom, and the joy of living in the moment. Osment wrote all of the songs on the album, with a degree of guidance from several songwriters, including Ron Aniello.
The album has received generally positive reviews from critics, with most stating it is an improvement from her debut EP All the Right Wrongs. The album peaked at number seventy-two in Spain and debuted in the US at number 170 on the Billboard 200 chart. The single "Let's Be Friends", debuted and peaked at number twenty-four on the Billboard Japan Hot 100 chart, making the song Osment's first top-thirty hit as a single and her most successful single to date. In addition, the single was also successful in Germany, peaking at number sixty-seven and remained in the German chart for over six weeks. The follow up single, "Lovesick", was also a commercial success, peaking at number sixty-six in Canada, making it her highest charting single there. It also became her first to chart in the UK, where it peaked at number fifty-seven.
Osment promoted the album mainly through musical performances and touring. She has performed the album's lead single, "Let's Be Friends" on The Dome 55 in Germany, as well as on the Canadian television show Toronto Breakfast Television, in which the song was performed acoustically. The single was also premiered and performed live during her Clap Your Hands Tour during 2010. On December 23, 2010, Osment performed the album's second official single, "Lovesick" on The View. During 2011, she performed on several television networks in Germany in support of the album. The performances included Osment performing "Lovesick", and one performance saw Osment performing her previous single, "All the Way Up".
In an interview with disneydreaming.com, Osment stated that she had begun working on the album in October, and had quickly rushed to finish it. In the interview, she revealed that she had co-written a song for the album, titled "1-800 Clap Your Hands", and that it would possibly be on her upcoming album. In December 2009, Osment announced plans to start work on her full-length debut album, after promotion for All the Right Wrongs had ended. She continued to write songs while filming the third season of Hannah Montana. She stated that the sound on the album would be different than the music heard on her debut extended play, calling it more of a "mature" sound.
On March 24, Osment confirmed on Good Day NY that her debut album was set to be released in the Summer 2010. On June 7, 2010, Osment premiered the album's lead single, "Let's Be Friends" on JSYK.com. On June 3, Osment announced that the album was being pushed back for release in the fall, and later confirmed the album's release date to be October 5, 2010, as well as announcing the official title to be Fight or Flight. The cover art was revealed August 17, and the track list being revealed on August 20. When asked about the title of the album, Osment stated
[...] Fight or Flight is a reaction that we have when faced with fear. It’s an uncontrollable, spontaneous reaction when faced with something you’re really afraid of. I’ve always loved that concept that your brain and your body take over, and when it came to this record I started listening to more diverse, different types of bands and I wanted to do what I wanted to do, and I was fighting what I was writing in the past and whatever thoughts anybody else might have, and working to write the music that I love.
The music video for "Let's Be Friends" debuted on Osment's official website on August 23, 2010. She performed the single on The Dome 55. On September 7, the album's second single, "Lovesick", debuted on JSYK.com to generally positive reviews. It was sent to radio on October 19, 2010 and the music video was released on January 14, 2011.
The album has primarily a dance-pop feel to it, unlike her previous songs. Seventeen Magazine said of the album's composition, " In her first single, “All The Way Up,” she told us, “I like to keep my suitcase packed, cause I’m going far,” and that, she has! Emily has strayed away from her first EP, “All The Right Wrongs” indie vibe, giving her new eleven-song album a more pop-dance feel. The name "Fight or Flight" comes from, Emily’s own ambitions to fight through personal anxieties to achieve simultaneous success in two very competitive fields. The first single from Fight or Flight, “Let’s Be Friends,” showcases Emily’s ability to make a hit pop-rock song, without sounding manufactured or over-produced. The song has been a popular hit on radio airwaves across the U.S. Other songs likely to be hit singles are "Lovesick," "Truth or Dare," and "All The Boys Want." She slows it down and shows off her vocal ability in "Marisol" and "You Get Me Through." "Right now/live out loud/gotta believe in something," she says in her call-to-action song, "Gotta Believe in Something." If you're in the mood for a high energetic, fun, feel-good song, go right to "Double Talk" or "Get Yer Yah-Yah’s Out." Her song, "1-800 Clap Your Hands (The Water Is Rising)" goes psychedelic-funk while "The Cycle" takes you back to her first EP’s alternative-pop feel.
During an interview about the album's musical content, Osment stated,
[...] I don’t want to write songs that are just surface-deep. I want to be in a world where I’m making the kind of music I want to make, and that’s what I’m doing right now. I want to find a balance between Top 40 songs like ‘Lovesick’ and ‘Let’s Be Friends’ and more complex material like ‘Marisol’ and ‘You Get Me Through’. I’ve given 1000% to making this album, and I won’t settle for mediocrity.
SparklingStars commented the album's dance melody, stating, "The track “Lovesick” has a great dance beat to it that will get you off your feet and moving, as well as the songs “Get Yer Yah-Yah’s Out” and “The Cycle.” You Get Me Through and Marisol are the two softer tunes on the album, however I found “You Get Me Through” to be a bit too slow. Marisol on the other hand is an amazing song and Emily’s voice sounded beautiful. The songs “Double Talk” and “Truth or Dare” had the same beat to me but they work well with the over all sound of the album; and they are the typical club songs that party goes will jam too. The two tracks I believe has the catchiest beats and lyrics are “All the Boys Want” and “Gotta Believe in Something;” they are must listens. But the outcast song is “1-800 Clap Your Hands (The Water is Rising),” I don’t really get the sound of the tune although it might fit with the album something is off with it and I would have preferred them to add another softer track instead. Overall if you’re looking for good album to play at your next house party check this one. Emily does take a risk by going into a new path with her music early on but it seem like she knows what style she wants to take on; and after all this is only the first of many records to come I’m sure of it."
The album has been met with generally positive reviews from critics. Allmusic praised Osment and the album, stating, "Fight or Flight sounds like Katy Perry with a sneer, with a sexual undercurrent that runs beneath every song and bubbles to the surface quite often." NeonReviews were less than pleased with the album, stating, "The 11-song collection is a mixture of pop, dance and techno inspired music. Although the set is clearly geared towards a teen audience, it’s questionable if even they'll buy what Emily is selling. The songs go from silly fun to down right laughable. Get Yer Yah-Yah’s Out being a prime example with its absolutely joke-worthy title. Other songs like the lead track, Lovesick, sound like leftovers from Christina Aguilera’s Bionic recording session. “Boom boom super sonic boom super sonic boom/You make my heart go (boom boom) you make my heart go,” Osment sings in the song as if she’s studied Aguilera’s latest release closely. Let’s Be Friends could be the little sister of fellow Disney album Britney Spears’ Radar sonically. What should have been a good thing actually works against Em. The listener gets so distracted trying to figure out what Britney song the tune resembles that they can't give it a fair shot." HeavenlyReviews said of the album, "This album really demonstrates Emily Osment's ability to sing. Throughout the years we have come to known Emily Osment as lovable Lilly Truscott on the hit Disney Channel show Hannah Montana which stars Miley Cyrus, Emily Osment, and Mitchel Musso. But in the last two years Emily Osment has expressed interest in releasing an album and eventually released her first EP last year in 2009."
MusicReviews10 also stated a dislike for the album, commenting, "Fight or Flight opens with the delightful second single Lovesick and trods on mindlessly till the album ends before you even know it. A few tracks do try to save the album, besides the aforementioned Lovesick, there's also the album's first single Let's Be Friends which bleeps and blurps like an arcade yet has a stadium-sized monster of a chorus which soon becomes a guilty pleasure. Among all the ballads, Marisol is a cut above the rest. It manages not to be boring and forgettable like the rest of the slow numbers on the album. But there's a problem with this collection of songs — there's little to no soul. Unlike Cyrus who does seem like she means what she sings most of the time, it just sounds like Osment made an album of catchy albeit forgettable songs to milk her career further. Fight or Flight isn't horrible by any measure, and when Osment decides to give you a guilty pleasure of a track, she sure as heck will, but the problem is, will you actually remember the songs on the album the next day? Because I didn't."
The album peaked at number ten in Brazil and seventy-two in Spain, making the album Osment's first top-ten hit. In the US, it debuted at number 170 on the Billboard 200. It reached number 2 on the Top Heatseekers album chart.
Osment promoted the album mainly through musical performances and touring. She has performed the album's lead single, "Let's Be Friends" on The Dome 55 in Germany, as well as on the Canadian television show Toronto Breakfast Television, in which the song was performed acoustically. The single was also premiered and performed live during her "Clap Your Hands Tour" during 2010. On December 23, 2010, Osment performed the album's second official single, Lovesick on The View. During 2011, she performed on several television networks in Germany in support of the album. The performances included Osment performing Lovesick, and one performance saw Osment performing her previous single, All the Way Up.
"Let's Be Friends" was released as the album's lead single. The song was released for digital download on June 8, 2010, and sent for radio airplay on July 7, 2010. Despite a mixed critical reception, "Let's Be Friends" was met with some commercial success. The single debuted and peaked at number twenty-four on the Billboard Japan Hot 100 chart. In Germany, the single became her first to chart there, when it debut at number 84, and later rose to a peak of 67. In addition, the single became her first to chart on an official US singles chart, when it peaked at number 31 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart.
"Lovesick" was released as the album's second single. It debuted live on JSYK.com on September 7, and was sent to mainstream radio on October 19, 2010. In the United Kingdom the song has been used to promote popular multichannel ITV2 and thus, has received strong download sales due to its popularity. Due to the strong digital downloads the song received, the song debuted at number 165 on the UK Singles Chart. During the week of April 17, 2011, the single entered the Top 100 in the UK, reaching a peak of 67 on the chart. The single also became her second to achieve success on the Canadian Hot 100, where it debuted at number 71, and later rose to a peak of 66.
Credits for Fight or Flight adapted from Allmusic