Album review: Keri Hilson - In a perfect world...

Album review: Keri Hilson - In a perfect world...Well, I'll be damned! Keri actually dropped an album. I'll eat my words, because I was sure she'd get dropped and her shit would get shelved. She could still get dropped. We all know how Interscope stay with R&B acts. But Keri's album is here now, so how is it and does it really feel new given so much of it had leaked over the course of several years!?

The album gets the club bangers out of the way right off the bat - serving little purpose other than to get you doing a little 2-step and realizing that Keri comes off like an absolute chicken head as the songs progress. They're pretty throwaway. "Turnin' me on" is a weird one. Because whilst I absolutely cannot bring myself to listen to this dribble when I'm at home, on the bus or in my car; in the club I am all over this song. It's not really an album defining track - so the album would be no better nor worse with or without it. It's just there. The only reason it probably made the album was because it featured Lil' Wayne. "Set your money up" has a beat bangs hard, but the song as a whole is just bog standard - which isn't helped by unnecessary and un-memorable features from fellow ugly wig wearers Keyshia Cole and Trina. Thank God Polow and Danja were able to drop a hot beat, because all 3 ladies on this track do not bring it between them. As with "Turnin' me on", "Return the favour" is a song I never play myself, but I stan for it when it drops in the club. "Return the favour" is not an amazing song, but it's not terrible neither. The vocal exchanges between Keri and Timbaland are nowhere near as hot and as flirtatious as Nelly and Timbaland's on "Promiscuous". Keri brings the sultry, but Timbaland sounds dead and fed up.

Whilst Keri does an alright job of the club cuts, Keri shines when she slows things down and gets sexy on you. The old as hell "Slow dance" made the album, and the song is hotness. The beat makes you wanna just grab somebody and grind like a pestle and mortar. Keri sounds a bit too Tweet-esque at times, but there's no denying the song's got that sexy, encapsulating what Keri is all about. "Intuition" continues the sexy. Keri's vocal game is air tight and the lyrics are of the quirky kind that is distinctly Keri. The song has a similar vibe to "Miscommunication", only with a middle eastern twang. The beat is real nice, although a beat switch and a bridge section with some chord changes would've been welcomed. Still...the song is fire. Drop this in a club, and girls are tworking it out and poking the booty out.

"How does it feel" sounds like a lower key version of "4 minutes" and "Elevator" with the hard knocking drums and the brass horns. The whole thing has a hot old skool bounce about it that is incredibly catchy. I thought Timbaland might've bene getting his own groove back, until I checked the inlay and saw Danja's name alongside his as a credited producer.

Some of the songs suffer from not really going anywhere, and having the potential to be great songs, but never taking off. "Alienated" has a really nice air about it. But Keri's semi rapping / reciting and the lack of vocal intricacies on the hook cause the song to just coast and never lift off. "Tell him the truth" is just boring. The lyrics are cool, especially coming from a female perspective. But the beat is lacking. Like it's missing a sample, a melody or something running through it. And unlike how the Beyondroid or Brandy would do on such a song; Keri doesn't fill these sparse sections with anything vocally. A shame, as this could've been a great song. Being Keri's equivalent of Aaliyah's "4 page letter".

I've got love for Keri Hilson. She's sexy, she's got swagger and she's mad talented. But I just find In a perfect world... boring. The whole time I was listening to it I was just wondering why the hell "Mic check", "High heels" and a re-working of "Miscommunication" amongst others got left off. And why "Do it" was relegated to being chucked in as an iTunes bonus track instead of part of the main track list. I may have been kinder to this album if it had released when it should have (2 years ago!) But to be made to wait for an album and find some of your favourite songs were omitted and that what you waited for really wasn't all that great: is a little disheartening. Keri's artistry just doesn't shine through as strong as it should have. That girl who sang Nicole Scherzinger under a bus on "Scream", the girl who came with such hot lyrics and a quirky chorus for "Miscommunication" - she doesn't emerge enough throughout the album. On the majority of the album she sounds like a guest featuring artist on her own songs. "Knock you down" is a prime example of this. I love the song to pieces! It should've been a lead single. But Ne-Yo and Kanye overshadow Keri completely. You'd think it was Ne-Yo featuring Kanye West, with Keri listed in the credits under 'Additional vocals'. The saddest thing is, is that even on some of the songs which are solely Keri, she still manages to sound like a featuring artist.

In a perfect world... is a good album. But Keri is capable of better than this. MUCH better. Maybe if she's lucky, she'll get a second chance at a record label who are more proactive, and with producers who allow her star to shine more brightly.

Keri Hilson's 'In a perfect world' scores itself a 6 out of 10
Album highlights:
■ Set your money up
■ Knock you down J's fave
■ Slow dance
■ Intuition
■ How does it feel
■ Energy


  1. Not counting the intro, the first two tracks are garbage. I hate "Turnin' Me On" and the second song, which I can't even remember the name of, that's how much I hate it. "Return the Favor" is nice, but nothing special, especially considering we heard it way back when. For me, the album really starts with "Knock You Down". Damn this song fire!!! It just has a feel good vibe to it, and Ne-Yo and Kanye come blazing on it.

    "Slow Dance" is hot, and "Make Love" is sexy to the max! That is the baby making song on the album. The timbo track is real nice, and I love "Intuition" and "Alienated". I just love the whole "can't get you out my system, my system...".

    Those were my favorites, with the other songs towards the end not being amazing, but still good to listen to. I was kind of surprised by this album to be honest. I thought it would be total crap, and I ended up liking it a little.

  2. The slow jams are really amazing, and Keri really shines on them.

    I still feel like it could've been, and at one time, was a much different, much better album. With Timbaland, Polow, AND Danja (!) at her disposal, you'd think that this would be a crazy event of an album, but no dice. It's just a nice, satisfactory collection of songs.

    Happy that she did at least 94,000, though; I was worried the the sales would be embarrassing, but that's nothing to scoff at, especially for Keri.

  3. Oh, and "Do It", the itunes bonus track, is the best song I've heard from Keri. It's amazing.

  4. No mention of "Make Love" and "Where Did He Go"? :(

  5. The best tracks were actually, for me, the bonus tracks. I still bump Knock You Down, but Intuition's novelty wore off after a day... and aside from everything else on the album, which I tend to ignore, I actually like Slow Dance. Track 7 wasn't even in the version I downloaded, but if you ask me, they chose the wrong song with Akon... where was Mic Check?

  6. How could I forget to mention the GOD AWFUL song with Akon. Why is he yelling in his verse? It's the worse I've ever heard him sound, and that's saying something.

  7. Man I actually really like this album some of the songs I do skip (Return the Favor, Turnin' Me On, Slow Dance) because they are so old. Looooove do it, I don't understand why it was left off the album. But I do like the demo version better because you could hear Tank better and the feeling of the demo was a lot more sexual the final version was more playful I think. But it was a very solid album I do believe, I am pretty sure they will rerelease it soon. I feel like I am the only one that likes Change Me, I love that song.


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