Much like our ‘Retro Rewind’ and ‘From the Vault’ segments, readers of That Grape Juice know what avid music lovers we are – especially of hits past. So in a quest to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday we introduced a new retrospective segment – ‘TGJ Replay’.
Unlike its ‘Rewind’ and ‘Vault’ predecessors, ‘Replay’ looks to dust off and showcase albums (and eras) from a library of pop music hits. Today, we recap Keri Hilson’s ‘In A Perfect World’ – her critically acclaimed debut LP…
After years of pushbacks, label dramas, and the like, Atlanta bred beauty Keri Hilson finally found her album aboard record shelves worldwide.
Indeed, Hilson – who had made quite the name for herself behind the scenes as a songwriter crafting R&B hits for some of the genres heaviest hitters – was poised for her own chart takeover. Teaming with ‘The Way I Are’ collaborator Timbaland and hip hop hitmaker Polow Da Don as primary production contributors, Hilson birthed ‘In A Perfect World’ – her debut LP.
Led by the 2008 pop singles ‘Energy’ and ‘Return the Favor’ (ft. Timbaland)…
‘Return The Favor’
The tracks, despite receiving moderate buzz, did not lend much favor to Hilson’s cause. While the former peaked on the Hot 100′s lower half, the latter failed to chart at all.
Not discouraged by the reception, Hilson tapped R&B’s “go to” co-star rapper Lil’ Wayne for her third single ‘Turnin Me On’. The move, a sonic departure from her two previous pop offerings, would prove to be a lucrative one as the song instantly took off on radio and charts alike…
Featuring sleek choreography and Hilson’s now signature brand of sass, the tune and video would turn fans onto the Atlanta songbird who many felt was finally getting her due. Immediately soaring to the Hot 100′s top 20 on the wings of its accompanying visual (pegged an updated version of Destiny Child’s 2004 hit ‘Soldier’), it seems Miss Keri Baby had finally arrived.
‘Turnin Me On’ (video)
The success of ‘Turnin’ helped turn the Keri campaign around and boosted its parent album’s first week sales to facilitate a top 5 debut. Not to lose momentum, the songstress quickly capitalized on the song’s success by tapping fellow singer/songwriter Ne-Yo and hit rapper Kanye West for ‘Turnin’s follow-up ‘Knock You Down’. A move that benefited Hilson yet again as the tune became her most successful of the era (reaching #3 on charts).
The promotional video for ‘Make Love’ and final (official) release ‘Slow Dance’ (written by Justin Timberlake) would round out the album’s singles. Collectively the tunes and the album’s all star cast (including Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Polow Da Don, Keyshia Cole, Kanye West, Ne-Yo, and more) helped shift sales of the record to gold status and help cement Hilson’s name amidst R&B’s top female performers.
As Miss Keri Baby has long been a TGJ fave, we keep ‘In A Perfect World’ on ‘replay’ here at TGJ HQ. So, while we press play on our favorite track from the set ‘How Does It Feel’, you tell us: