Album Review: Keri Hilson
There seems to be a strange prescience to the title of Keri Hilson’s debut album.
In a perfect world, an artist of Hilson’s obvious talents, having enjoyed such huge success before even releasing her own first single, would be a sure-fire bet to release one of the R&B albums of the year.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect world, and Hilson’s debut instead arrives stillborn; a flat collection that’s already been bled of any potential hits, coming on the heels of four flop solo singles.
As the featured vocalist (and co-writer) of one of the highest-selling singles of 2007, Timbaland’s 'The Way I Are', Hilson cemented her status as a talent to watch. Follow-up guest spots on hits for Nas and Chris Brown heightened the anticipation for Hilson’s own material.
But when her own debut single, 'Energy', finally surfaced a year ago, it was met with a collective shrug – the track was a damp squib of an R&B ballad, displaying none of her earlier spunk. Since then, three further singles have been released from 'In A Perfect World...' – from the truly dire 'Turnin’ Me On' (ironically her only solo single so far to scrape the US top 20) to a fantastic Timabland-featuring sequel to 'The Way I Are', aptly named 'Return The Favor'.
Hilson’s certainly assembled an all-star cast here – Akon, Kanye West and Lil Wayne all guest. But too much of the album passes by in a forgettable, mid-tempo slush, with executive producers Timbaland and Polow Da Don laying down uncharacteristically tired soundscapes.
Ultimately, though, the biggest disappointment lies with Hilson: it would appear that the talented songwriter behind hits for Britney Spears, The Pussycat Dolls and Usher, gave away her best songs and left the cast-offs for herself.
Keri Hilson: 'In A Perfect World…' is out now on Universal