Monday, December 27, 2010

Album Review: Keri Hilson "No Boys Allowed"

After a slow start, Keri Hilson blasted onto the scene with her debut album In A Perfect World... last year. She had hits with the help of Lil' Wayne & Kanye West, but can she have similar success flying solo with tracks from her sophomore album No Boys Allowed? Her fresh style suggests yes!

1. "Buyou" (ft. J. Cole): This is one mighty fine uptempo! A great way to kick off the record musically & set the tone lyrically. 4.5/5

2. "Pretty Girl Rock": This undeniably hot & catchy tune was produced by Chuck Harmony, who I was turned onto by a friend & have been impressed by ever since! 5/5

3. "The Way You Love Me" (ft. Rick Ross): Despite this song's fiery beat & verses, I was completely turned off of it initially by her screaming during the chorus & the extremely vulgar lyrics, but, especially after she cleaned it up a bit, I was able to get used to/overlook the screaming & get into it. 4/5

4. "Bahm Bahm (Do It Once Again)/I Want You": The main track here is a fun one, while "I Want You" is a super cool added bonus. 4.5/5

5. "One Night Stand" (ft. Chris Brown): This slow jam is pretty good, despite the questionable presence of Chris Brown on an album titled No Boys Allowed. Their other collabo "Superhuman" is better though. 4/5

6. "Lose Control/Let Me Down" (ft. Nelly): An awesome jam & potential hit (another one from Ester!), rightfully suggested to me by a friend (yup, same one) as her next single. Nelly's voice even fits, making him sound not-tired for the first time since... *blank stare* (dunno 'bout that verse though). "Let Me Down", again, was an excellent additional treat! 5/5

7. "Toy Soldier": A slow jam with style. Love it. 4.5/5

8. "Breaking Point": Seriously slept on, this lead/buzz single was, as it was obviously going to be. Superb! 5/5

9. "Beautiful Mistake": This midtempo has a retro-done-right feel to it. It makes me happy. 4.5/5

10. "Gimme What I Want": My favorite song on the album. Keri & Ciara both went hard on track 10 this time 'round! 5/5

11. "All The Boys": A wonderful closer! Better than her last album. 5/5

12. "Pretty Girl Rock" (ft. Kanye West): Kinda pointless if she wasn't gonna release it as a single without Kanye... not that she needed to. 4.5/5

Of the deluxe edition bonus tracks, the Target-exclusive "So Good" & Timbaland-assisted "Lie To Me" (although the slight dated feeling of the latter explains why it's just a bonus) stick out, while the other three are varying degrees of alright. Anyway, Keri really impressed me with this one! I can't decide whether or not it's better than In A Perfect World..., but that in itself is a compliment. It's always impressive when an artist can put together an album that I can listen to from beginning to end without even wanting to skip a track & No Boys Allowed is just that! True R&B fans can definitely appreciate both the substance & freshness of what Keri has to offer.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

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