ALBUM REVIEW: Keri Hilson - In a Perfect World...

AllHipHop Staff

There’s a yin to every yang, and the movement of famous

songwriters to recording artists (The-Dream, Ne-Yo) is no exception. Keri

Hilson is the yang in all ways possible: the length of time between notoriety

and an album release (it took Ne-Yo a year after “Let Me Love You” before a

lead single, and The-Dream only a couple months after “Umbrella”) and the

simple fact that she’s the female counterpart. In A Perfect World… experienced delay after delay and more importantly a

complete album overhaul as the track listing for the March 2009 release is

almost 95 percent different from the one originally intended in September 2008.

It’s more than apparent as In A Perfect World… shows three degrees of versatility: the hard songs,

where Keri tries to command a pimp persona (“Get Your Money Up”, “Turnin’ Me

On”, “How Does It Feel”), the lot of soft songs, demonstrating a more docile

side to the songwriter turned singer (“Make Love,” “Energy,” “Where Did He

Go”), and the side that combines both hard and soft (“Knock You Down,” “Change

Me,” “Return The Favor”). In her combination of hard and soft, Keri Hilson is

on the forefront yet relinquishes the commandeering demeanor – a

slam-dunk with “Knock You Down,” featuring Kanye West and Ne-Yo, is more than

proof. In the tracks she intends to command she comes across less powerful,

since there’s no hint of the female prowess she introduced herself to the world

in “The Way I Are” – it’s simply not believable and offensively gimmicky.

It’s not that Miss Keri is missing the element of performer

she needs to be interpreting her solo material, because in the single “Energy,”

a song she didn’t even write, she performs up to par, is convincing, and is

more than invested. In A Perfect World…

does hold a batch of radio singles, and for that kudos is in order, but as Keri

is expected to be the female yang to the modern R&B songwriter/recording

artist movement, it’s perplexing that she missed the mark in uniting love and

sex in her songwriting…and her male counterparts didn’t – the

not-so-secret to their success.