Keri Hilson did fairly well for herself with 'In A Perfect World', her debut album. Turnin' Me On with Lil Wayne was a Top 20 hit and a smash on the R&B charts, and Knock You Down was everywhere for a while, reaching the top 5 on the Hot 100. Yet here Ms. Hilson is, seeming rather desperate, mixing up a good formula in an attempt to generate more hits.
Buyou: A good song to start off with. Nice, slick production helps, plus J. Cole's rap is really well done. This could have easily been included on her last album with the feel it has going. Single potential. B
Pretty Girl Rock: I'm not sure why Keri's managers messed with Breaking Point as a first single, because this one has lead single written all over it. The production is immaculate, the lyrics are solid, and Keri sounds fairly invested. Ridiculously catchy; you have been warned. B+
The Way You Love Me: Almost works, but not quite. This is Keri at her most desperate; she attempts to sell the song, giving her all by practically yelling the lyrics, but none of it catches fire. Rick Ross has a decent rap in it though. C
Bahm Bahm (Do It Once Again) / I Want You: The first 2/3 of this song is awful. It all comes off like a watered down version of Break It Off by Rihanna; dancehall at its worst. However, the 'I Want You' part is an exquisite bit of sensual R&B. D for Bahm Bahm, B+ for I Want You
One Night Stand: This is a fairly good slow R&B groove, riding a nice beat, but the album really needed something better at this point to really sell this album. Keri and Chris Brown make a nice pair though. B-
Lose Control / Let Me Down: This is finally when things get interesting. While it's a bit too popish, Lose Control has a solid dance-pop beat, and I never really notice when it switches to Let Me Down. Should've replaced Bahm Bahm earlier. B
Toy Soldier: A bit of a cheesy metaphor that comes off as desperate, but if you get past this, it's a good R&B song. Not so heavy on the pop, which is nice for Keri. A little forgettable, if nothing else. B-
Breaking Point: Critics seem to be raving this song, and normally love Timbaland's production, but I disdain this track. It is difficult for me to listen through it, especially the spoken part. Awful choice for a lead single, and it bombed accordingly. C-
Beautiful Mistake: This is good until the chorus. Heavy on the pop, and the stuttering part doesn't help her case. This pop persona Keri is pushing just seems to backfire every time. C
Gimme What I Want: Now this is when things heat up. Very nice attitude on the song, and the synth-wrapped opening is warranted. Heavy on pop, but it finally works. B
All The Boys: I'd go so far to say this is Keri's best ballad she's ever done. She seems truly invested, which is refreshing on an album so desperate to be a product and not just an artistic statement. B+
Pretty Girl Rock Remix: As much Kanye as Keri, if not more. He kills it, but if you weren't a fan of the original, this won't change your mind. B+
Just reviewing this album frustrated me once again. 'In A Perfect World' was my favorite R&B album of the year, and that was the same time when a Beyonce album got dropped. I wanted something like Get Your Money Up or Intuition or even Change Me, but got an album from an artist that might as well be an unknown. Keri's done a 180 here, and not in a good way. Don't buy the whole album, even if it's still 5 dollars.
Recommended Downloads: Buyou, Pretty Girl Rock (or remix), All The Boys