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"

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