Keri Hilson – No Boys Allowed | Album Review

Keri Hilson bans all males access for the follow up to her debut album, yet I managed to have a listen to what she has to offer. Keri Hilson is an interesting case within the R&B scene. She was a writer before she was an artist, and when she came out on features and with her own album, I found her promising and have followed her career since. Much has been made about her change in image, which was the talk of the town after the release of her video for ‘The Way You Love Me.’

This album was unfortunately underwhelming.

‘Buyou’ featuring J. Cole failed to capture my interest, however, this isn’t to say that is BAD, it’s just average. And that’s how I felt about a lot of the album. For instance, ‘One Night Stand’ featuring Chris Brown has electric harmonies in its background vocals, conjuring up visions of Jodeci and Dru Hill, yet as a whole is just OK.

‘Pretty Girl Rock’ has heavy drums and is built on harmonically solid foundations, with an interpolation of Bill Withers’ ‘Just The Two Of Us,’ yet doesn’t hold my interest. The remix featuring a Kanye West verse fails to make the song any better. ‘All The Boys,’ Gimme What I Want’ and ‘Beautiful Mistake’ all follow suit and sit on the fence between good and bad.

‘The Way You Love Me’ features a Rick Ross verse that is also alright, nothing special. The track as a whole is not my cup of tea and Keri Hilson’s voice does not sound good at ALL on the chorus. There is no lack of energy in this track, it’s just that I’m not sure Keri is suited to this kind of music. All that fake hollering made her sound phony and made my throat hurt on her behalf.

‘Bahm Bahm (Do It Once Again)/ I Want You’ has a faux reggae vibe and as a song fails to go anywhere. The lyrics are predictable however the ‘I Want You’ section is nice. ‘Lose Control (Let Me Down)’ features Nelly, who delivers a typical Nelly verse, and has a Rihanna vibe to it probably owed to the production by Stargate.

Amongst the better offerings are the very well written ‘Toy Soldier,’ although the Timbaland production does sound like it’s from the first Shock Value era, hence, a little dated. ‘Breaking Point’ is perhaps my favourite track on the album as it is built on nice harmony, but yet again; I find it fails to capture me.

Unfortunately the promise Keri had shown me in the past is not lived up to on this offering and I feel that she needs to come with something stronger in the future. I’m unsure that I can pinpoint what made this album so average to me, but it’s focus on pushing ‘Girl Power’ and the over sexiness mismatching Keri Hilson as I know her probably contributed a lot towards it.

No Boys Allowed is out now via iTunes iTunes / Amazon and in the UK on Jan 10th via Play / Amazon.

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