Album Review: Keri Hilson - In A Perfect World

Posted by Mack of Sound-Savvy On 1:32 AM

Artist: Keri Hilson
Album: In A Perfect World
Release Date: 3.24.09

In a perfect world, this album would have been released two years ago as originally intended; it would have become an instant classic, and Keri Hilson would have stolen the shine from the artists she helped catapult to success. Well, the world may not be perfect, but that doesn’t stop Keri from putting her best effort into her debut offering. After a little growing time, I found In A Perfect World to be a pretty good project characterized by catchy hooks and crazy beats from the industry’s brightest talent. Polow Da Don, Timbaland and Danja lay most of the groundwork, setting the stage for guest appearances from Keyshia Cole, Lil Wayne, Akon, Kanye West, Trina and Ne-yo. With all its greatness, however, it is not without flaws.

The album’s introductory track establishes the tone for the entire album: a combination of sexy vocals and an air of energetic confidence that prevails throughout the disc. Following up is the radio favorite Turnin Me On, the album’s third single and followup to Energy and the Timbaland-helmed pop/dance smash Return The Favor. In a thrilling show of new-age girl power, Keyshia Cole and Trina collab on one of the album’s best offerings, Get Your Money Up, a bass-heavy club banger fit to be the newest ladies anthem: “Know what I’m talking bout? You steppin’ to the baddest, got millionaires standin’ in line wishin’ they had this…” Reality bites on Knocks You Down, which captures the moment when love rears it’s head and life veers a sharp left.

There are enough slower, vocal-centric cuts to balance out the album, beginning with the sensuality of Slow Dance, a certified grind-time jam. Silky vocals and passionate lyrics create the scene on Make Love, one of Hilson’s strongest vocal offerings from the album. Tell Him The Truth bears a solemnity that’s almost as scary as the actual act of coming clean. It’s easy to get lost in the vibe of Where Did He Go, which meshes an arrangement of busy vocal rounds over a simple groove, echoing the song’s concept of being lost in love.

And now for the downside, - relax, it isn’t that much. Lyrically, Intuition works, but it’s the Timbaland/Danja track that doesn’t really move me; the sound is too familiar, a sound that’s been recycled too many times. I’m not sure whether it’s Akon’s grunts and strained vocals or the lack of lyrical depth that makes Change Me fall totally flat. Keri tries to save it, but there’s really not enough in that song to match the power of Polow’s backdrop.

Despite a few pushbacks and minor setbacks In A Perfect World still manages to present itself as a formidable project amongst today’s pop starlets and superstar divas. There aren’t really any middle-of-the-road songs: the good ones are really good, and the couple bad ones just really suck. It’s worth the listen, there’s a lot to vibe to on this album although it may take some time to grow on you, and though it’s not perfect, it’s a damn good attempt…

Related Posts:
Video: Keri Hilson feat. Ne-yo and Kanye West - Knocks You Down
Video: Keri Hilson - Make Love

Sound-Savvy officially rates In A Perfect World with 4 out of 5 platinum headphones.

2 comments and counting...

  1. Sane Said,

    Alright so you know I trust you on this, right bruh? I'm goin' into this with an open mind but i'm not planning on getting my hopes up. I love the girl power anthem theme she's cooked up for us. I JUST copped the album so i'll let you know my assessment after i'm done listening to it, k?


    Posted on March 25, 2009 at 9:59 PM

  2. JayVee Said,

    I WANT to love Keri. I do. I remember when she was first "introduced" during Timb's DJ intermission of JT's FSLS tour. I left that show amped to hear more from her, but subsequently all that's followed has been sub-par. She's starting to follow the Christina Milian road, meaning, she gives all her hot tracks to others and pushes out low rate stuff.

    I'm starting to dig on "Turnin Me On Remix" and "Knock You Down," but I still want more. I want her to SING - not do this slowish r&b crap masked in hip hop beats. Like flat out sing. I think she's capable -- hoping she'll show me.

    Posted on March 30, 2009 at 10:37 AM


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