Monday, December 20, 2010

Keri Hilson - No Boys Allowed

The first thing that jumped out to me when I started reading the credits for Keri’s sophomore album “No Boys Allowed” was that she only wrote (or co-wrote) four songs on this album which is odd considering her track record as a songwriter. Another interesting fact is that the Lil Kim version of “Buyou” got clipped to be replaced by J Cole. Keri says that she did it only to keep the trend of having only male artists as collaborating guests. One note in the credits that alarmed me was John Legend wrote the song “All The Boys” PAUSE. I know Keri Hilson’s music enough to expect a heavy lean towards Pop so I dropped the needle prepared to get a heavy does of glow sticks and whistles.

“Buyou” is funky as hell. Definitely not a glow sticks and whistles record, but actually dope – although J Cole embarrassed himself with “I see her – its hard not to see her, Face like Aaliyah and plus a college degree-a”…I want to hear the Lil Kim version already. “Pretty Girl Rock” and the remix version with Kanye are going to be favorites with the ladies. Not bad records, but I’m sure women would rate them higher than I do. One thing I do like about both versions is the fact that Ne-Yo co-produced the tracks. If you haven’t seen the video for “The Way You Love Me” and somehow completely missed all the buzz around the lyrics and wardrobe, you should still like the song. Having the video running through my mind while I listen to it makes this song a definite highlight though. “Bahm Bahm” is a video I want to see with Keri doing some Dutty Wine action, but after the fallout from the other video – I don’t expect to see that. Don’t skip to the next song without advancing to the 3:38 point of the song where it COMPLETELY flips to “I Want You” with a heavy Kanye West vibe.

“One Night Stand” with Chris Brown is dope and please believe I will be looping that first full bar of the beat heavy. The song is hot, but that beat (minus the guitar) is absolute fire. That raw beat with the percussion towards the end will also get chopped up. I know I’m not the only one who sees this getting a lot of remixes thanks to those 2 points left open for DJs and producers to flip. “Lose Control” fits Nelly perfect and almost sounds like it was made for him rather than Keri. Beware that is a heavily pop-influenced track though; right up until it flips to “Let Me Down” around the 3:36 mark. I know that there are a lot of women (I had to delete a grip of adjectives ahead of that) that will identify with “Toy Soldiers” so I’m going to leave that one for them to speak on, but beware of any woman you see singing that song if you’re thinking about approaching her…she’s got some previous ‘men issues’ that are going to creep into any hopes of a relationship. Timbaland put his foot into the production of “Breaking Point” and immediately made it a highlight. “Breaking Point” is funky as hell, but again, I ain’t touching the message in the lyrics. I will however be chopping that beat left open at the end. Dope song. “Beautiful Mistake” on the other hand is not one of my favorite Timbaland productions.

“Gimme What I Want” is another anthem record for the ladies. I saw the reaction to that first-hand already and know I will be spinning it for all the women although I’m sure it won’t get such a positive reaction from the men in the club. The last thing any man wants to hear is a woman chanting “I want it all”. Now we get to the John Legend written “All The Boys” and I won’t even lie – I’m waiting to hear how gay it’s going to be; remembering my reaction to Janet Jackson’s “Discipline” album after learning Jermaine Dupree wrote some of that…disturbing. “All The Boys” is a nice record though and not disturbingly gay, BUT – the fake studio scratches kind of pissed me off as a DJ. Keri – you can have a line of DJs around the block to appear on any of your albums, get a real DJ and let ‘em play.

Overall I have to say that I liked Keri’s album. Some of the production is absolute fire and the songwriting is solid (except for that J Cole line….that was horrible). Obviously women are going to react much more strongly to this album than men, but I don’t think Keri deserves all the bad reviews I’ve seen for “No Boys Allowed”.

No comments:

Post a Comment