- Release date:
- March 24, 2009
- Artist/Band name:
- Keri Hilson
- Record label:
- Official Web Site:
The buzz: Magazines like the Fader have been touting Atlanta native Keri Hilson—a Timbaland discovery and a songwriter in her own right—for more than a year now. After a substantive delay, Hilson’s new record, "In a Perfect World...," featuring guest spots from Kayne West, Ne-Yo, Keyshia Cole and Akon, finally sees the light of day.
The verdict: Keri Hilson looks the part of an R&B diva: she’s got the face, she’s got the moves, and she’s definitely got the body (see the smouldering “Energy” video). But does she have the voice? With its alluringly minimal beat, bouncy horn sample and come-hither backing vocals, the playful single “Turnin’ Me On” is the easy album standout. While Hilson does just fine (with two levels of backing vocals), the laid-back virtuosity of Lil Wayne’s cameo steals the show with rhymes like: "I hope your vagina tight/I go underwater/and I hope your piranha bite." With its cascading synths and classic pop structure, the flirtatious “Return the Favor,” an I’ll-show-you-mine-if-you-show-me-yours duet, seems promising, but Hilson’s vocals feel flat against the driving beat and Timbaland fully phones it in (he doesn’t even leave his chair in the video). Elsewhere, the album is rife with midtempo ballads: the well-paced and well-written “Energy,” bursting at the seams with swelling synths and taught lyrics (“I’m having nightmares from sleeping with the enemy/How do we reverse the chemistry?”), holds up to repeat listens, but other efforts like “Alienated” and “Knock You Down” feel lackluster—a slow bum out, instead of a slow burn.
Did you know? Prior to breaking solo, Hilson lived behind the scenes, writing songs for the likes of Britney Spears, Ciara and Ludacris.