Sunday, March 22, 2009

Singer Songwriter’s Serially Delayed Debut | Keri Hilson 'In A Perfect World...' CD Review

She sung the hook on Timbaland’s massive hit single “The Way I Are,” and has writing credits for hit singles “Gimme More” by Britney Spears, “Runaway Love,” by Ludacris and “Ice Box,” by Omarion. So clearly Keri Hilson is no foreigner to the top. After signing a joint venture deal with two of Hip Hop’s hottest producers, Timbaland’s Mosley Music Group and Polow Da Don’s Zone 4, it seemed like Hilson had a definite quick shot at super stardom.

To set her name apart from her big name label head producers, Hilson decided to release a debut single which neither produced nor she wrote. She enlisted The Runaways, who created her debut single, “Energy.” Managing to peak at number 78 on the Billboard Hot 100; it was clear that Hilson’s separation wasn’t helping her succeed. Pushing back Hilson’s In A Perfect World… for one of its many times.

For her follow up second single, “Return The Favor,” Hilson visited known ground, and rejoined forces with Timbaland who produced and was featured on the track. The Ms. Pacman sounding Dance Pop tune was reminiscent of Timbaland’s 2006 Nelly Furtado collaboration “Promiscuous.” Nearly an attempt to recreate it two years later, Timbaland’s formula of selling Hilson’s sexuality with the songs message and video didn’t even come close to Furtado’s number 1 success; as the song didn’t even chart on any Billboard charts.

Shortly after “Return The Favor"’s failed takeoff, Hilson released the third single off of In A Perfect World… “Turnin’ Me On.” The song features current hot rapper Lil’ Wayne, and Hilson’s altered voice to sound more robotic to match Wayne’s auto tune usage. With Hilson’s slick stick it to men attitude that she brought to the track, and Wayne’s polished rhyme the song became a hit, and has so far reached number 15 on the Hot 100; becoming Hilson’s highest charting single as a lead artist. “Turnin’ Me On,” is also credited for securing a release date for In A Perfect World… which had been delayed since 2007.

Timbaland’s protégé Danja locked in the fourth single, “Knock You Down.” The song features fellow singer songwriter Ne-Yo, who shares his vocals for a verse, as well as the media hungry Kanye West who adds a rap. The motivational ‘love’s tough, try again’ song definitely showcases Hilson’s vocals more than “Turnin’ Me On.” Here the three artists definitely manage to create a song that all of their fans will eat up and enjoy.

On the standout track “Alienated,” Hilson shines as she demonstrates her creative writing skills. With a few unique metaphors and a chorus that could get stuck in anyone’s head, Hilson could have another radio hit. In the song Hilson expresses her sorrow as she raps, “Feels like we've been apart for some light years/Credit in my heart, filled with my tears.” She also loses cell phone contact as she searches for her lost love, “I miss you and I want you back/I lost your signal, Where you at?/And I don't know how we lost contact/Where did you go?”

Keri Hilson delivers a solid R&B effort, with In A Perfect World… Creating a mix of club ready jams and mid-tempo love songs with minimal guest features, In A Perfect World… was a perfect debut for Hilson to stake her claim as a lead artist in the music industry. As a blooming talent who has been around for some time, Keri Hilson has all she needs to keep her name in the forefront instead of the writing credits.

Songs to hear:
1. Intro
2. "Turnin Me On" [featuring Lil' Wayne]
3. "Get Your Money Up" [featuring Keyshia Cole & Trina]
4. "Return The Favor" [featuring Timbaland]
5. "Knock You Down" [featuring Ne-Yo & Kanye West]
9. "How Does It Feel"
10. "Alienated" -number1k9 approved best album track
13. "Energy"
14. "Where Did He Go"

Singer Songwriter’s Mediocre Follow-up | The-Dream 'Love vs. Money' CD Review

After penning 2007s biggest number 1 summer single, “Umbrella,” for Rihanna, Mariah Carey’s 18th number 1 single “Touch My Body,” Beyonce’s number 1 female anthem “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It),” and the release of his debut album Love Hate (Love Me All Summer, Hate Me All Winter), Terius Nash commonly known as The-Dream found time to work on his sophomore project.

“Let Me See The Booty,” a track produced by Atlanta heavyweight, Lil Jon, was initially listed to jumpstart Love vs. Money. The not so radio friendly song had little to no impact on radio & charts, subsequently becoming seen as the album’s promotional single.

Officially setting off the project was the single, “Rockin’ That Sh*t.” With enough personality to keep fans singing and rhythm to keep them dancing, it managed to peak at number 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 (as of March 21st, 2009s charting week). The official remix includes an all-star group of Hip Hop artists, including Fabolous, Juelz Santana, Rick Ross, and Ludacris. Though the remix features the exact same instrumental as the original and limited vocals from The-Dream, each rapper adds their own persona to make the track even more addictive than before.

Following “Rockin’ That Sh*t,” becoming an R&B hit, The-Dream decided to release the Pop flavored “My Love.” Past collaborator Mariah Carey, definitely adds to the appeal of the duet. The mid-tempo single “My Love,” currently rising up the Hot 100 has the potential to become The-Dream’s biggest Pop hit, as a singer and songwriter.

On the supposed future single, “Walking On The Moon,” The-Dream brings along rapper Kanye West. The songs Dance Pop feel mixed with a verse from West help make the song more enjoyable and perfect for the dance floor. The-Dream illustrates his love, as he states, “I’ll pull down a cloud for you, I'll circle the stars and bring you and back, I'll walk through the sun for you.” A song that was quite different for the singer songwriter, but certainly something he and West handled well together.

The-Dream constructs slick, unique love songs on Love vs. Money such as “Kelly’s 12 Play.” He even ends the song with a bit of self promotion, “now we doin’ it, to Dreams Love Hate.” Also managing catchy songs, like “Mr. Yeah.” Where The Dream announces how he is the perfect can do it all, type of guy.

Despite the fact, that The-Dream is a great songwriter and has the stats to prove it; lyrically he manages to get lost throughout Love vs. Money. While you can expect to hear extraordinary production on the majority of Love vs. Money, the issue is that many songs don’t allow The-Dream’s little vocal range to outshine the production. In turn making certain songs sound rather similar vocally. Nevertheless the album is filled with a great deal of sexually charged R&B, which will have classic R&B fans craving more of The-Dreams uniquely written music.

Songs to hear:
2. "Rocking That Sh*t"
3. "Walking On The Moon" [featuring Kanye West]
4. "My Love" [featuring Mariah Carey]
5. "Put It Down"
12. "Mr. Yeah"
13. "Kelly's 12 Play"
* "Rockin' That Sh*t" [Remix] [featuring Fabolous, Juelz Santana, Rick Ross, & Ludacris]

Female Throwback Jam: “You Gotta Be” 3/21/2009

This weeks Female Throwback Jam, comes to us from 90s R&B Soul singer Des'ree. Her motivational hit single "You Gotta Be," eventually reached number 5 with it's re-release on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1995. Different versions of the song were released, and it peaked at number 16 in 1994.

Check out the video to "You Gotta Be," which was nominated for Best Female Video at the VMA's, in 1995, below!

Male Throwback Jam: "Truly Madly Deeply" 3/21/2009

This weeks Male Throwback Jam comes to us from 90s Australian group Savage Garden. The hit big in the US, and reached number 1 for the first time with their ballad, "Truly Madly Deeply," in 1998. The love song, was definitely a song you had to have heard in the 90s, and enjoyed at one point in time.

What the video to "Truly, Madly, Deeply," below!

Female Throwback Jam: “The One I Gave My Heard To” 3/14/2009

The Female Throwback Jam of 3/14/09 comes to us from Aaliyah. her single "The One I Gave My Heart To," showed us that Aaliyah could definitely carry a heartfelt ballad and make it something special. It eventually peaked at number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 97/98. It was also released with the A-side single "Hot Like Fire," an up-tempo club jam.

Check out the song/video to "The One I gave My Heart To" below!

As well as the video to the A-Side single "Hot Like Fire."

Male Throwback Jam: "Nobody" 3/14/2009

The Male Throwback Jam of 3/14/2009 came to us from Keith Sweat and Athena Cage. The 1996 duet, "Nobody" became a hit single and reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 96/97. Definitely a classic love song from the 90s-everybody remembers Keith Sweats voice from his 90s hit songs.

Check out the video/song to "Nobody" below!

Monday, March 9, 2009

All She Could Want | Kelly Clarkson 'All I Ever Wanted' CD Review

After an extremely disappointed third album, My December, completely co-written by Kelly Clarkson herself, things weren’t looking to good for the original American Idol. Nearly two years after its release Clarkson came back with vengeance; reconstructing the sound from her six times platinum selling, sophomore album Breakaway, and adding a modern twist to it.

In January 2009 Kelly Clarkson became the only American Idol to have two Billboard Hot 100 number 1 singles, with her lead single “My Life Would Suck Without You;” eventually holding the number 1 spot for a total of two consecutive weeks. The lead single merges the Pop Rock edge of her 2005 hit single “Since U Been Gone,” with the Electro Pop Dance feel of Katy Perry’s “Hot N Cold.” Taking part in the current Electronic Dance Pop music’s popularity was a brilliant move on Clarkson’s behalf.

On All I Ever Wanted, Clarkson manages to create a great Pop album; featuring a taste of Pop Rock, Electronic Dance, Rock and Pop music. Helping Clarkson includes multiple big name producers and songwriters. Two most noticeable including, Katy Perry who helped co-write two songs, and Ryan Tedder (of OneRepublic, famous for penning the number 1 single “Bleeding Love.”) produced and co-wrote four songs off of the album. Also Howard Benson, who has credits for many popular Pop Rock artists, produced a total of five songs off of the album. Ms. Clarkson herself ended up co-penning five songs as well, while producing one too.

On “Don’t Let Me Stop You,” Clarkson brings back the vibe of her past single, “Behind These Hazel Eyes.” The catchy Pop Rock song would do great at radio. The sass filled “Don’t Let Me Stop You” has Clarkson singing, “I'm not down to share you with anyone, if that's not what you're looking for, nice knowing you, but there's the door.” The song tells how she isn’t here to play any relationship games and is not trying to hold her significant other back. Female anthems “I Do Not Hook Up,” and “Long Shot,” follow similar Pop Rock roots as “Don’t Let Me Stop You,” also.

The Ryan Tedder produced “Already Gone,” bears a striking resemblance to his recently produced song “Halo,” performed by Beyonce. The laid back mid tempo song features clever lyrical content while also showing off Clarkson’s vocal ability. On the breakup song Clarkson confesses, “You couldn't have loved me better, but I want you to move on, so I'm already gone.”

Changing up the pace, once again is a Tedder produced track entitled, “If I Can’t Have You.” The song could easily blow up the Dance radio charts. The intense Electro Pop sound is something entirely different for both Clarkson and Tedder, though it turned out to be an excellent addition.

Surprisingly Kelly Clarkson added a good amount of enjoyable Pop songs on All I Ever Wanted. The simplistic “Ready,” introduces a great melody and a perfect sing along chorus. While the flirty “I Want You,” has a catchy retro dance sound to it. On the contrary we hear an extremely hard Rock inspired Clarkson, nearly screaming on “Whyyawannabringmedown.”

Overall Clarkson doesn’t disappoint on All I Ever Wanted. This might just be the album to give Clarkson all she could want, another big selling album to her name. By creating an album with various enjoyable music, Clarkson serves up at least one song everyone could love. With already a number 1 single from the album, look for All I Ever Wanted to be one of 2009s biggest albums.

* Catch Kelly Clarkson as well as Kanye West performing on this upcoming Wednesday’s American Idol results show at 8:00pm EST on Fox.

Songs to hear:
1. "My Life Would Suck Without You"
2. "I Do Not Hook Up"
3. "Cry"
4. "Don't Let Me Stop You" -number1k9 approved best album track
6. "Already Gone"
7. "If I Can't Have You"
10. "Long Shot"
12. "Ready"
13. "I Want You"
14. "If No One Will Listen"

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Male Throwback Jam: “Candy Rain” 3/7/2009

This weeks Male Throwback Jam comes to us from R&B Dance group Soulf For Real. Their 1994 hit single "Candy Rain," is a pretty well known dance song of the 90s. Check out an unofficial video below. You can view the official video here. [More info to be added shortly! As always visit to blog to see more than you do on Facebook!]

Female Throwback Jam: “Weak” 3/7/2009

This weeks Female Throwback Jam comes to us from R&B trio SWV. Their 1993 hit single "Weak," is undeniably a classic. Check out the video below. [More info to be added shortly! As always visit to blog to see more than you do on Facebook!]