Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer Jam 2009 Candidate #1 - Keri Hilson ft. Kanye West & Ne-Yo - Knock You Down

Apparantly UMB Brazil is way cooler than they're North American overlords and have allowed me to embed this video into my blog. If you don't see it, you can do the old fashioned here:

Now, I'm not totally sold on what any of these three people are doing in general. I've got reservations about giving my whole hearted support to Kanye (though I'm close), Ne-Yo, or Keri Hilson right now.

But this track? No reservations at all.

Post Heartbreaks Kanye seems to be living in a sort of bubble where people are so happy he's not trying to sing that his verses once again seem awesome and immediate like they did way back when. His verse here is a good case in point, and I wouldn't be surprised if his next record is a lot like this - competent, almost perfect for the song, but lacking that weird sense of paranoia and persecution that made his early music so interesting. Still great, but it's Kanye without the caps lock, which I think we're all going to have to grow up and adjust to if we want to remain fans of pop music in the next few years.

Ne-Yo, on the other hand, I would've sworn I hated him. "So Sick" is a great song but he really lost it after that. People I respect have been all over Year of the Gentleman, but choosing to listen to "Miss Independent" was something I just couldn't bring myself to do. But I think I get it now - this is what it took. This is arguably the best sing-rapping that anyone has ever done without being R. Kelly. This verse may singlehandedly make it ok for an R&B singer to get a guest spot on a track and not only do a verse rather than a hook, but even deliver it like an MC, but I hope it doesn't, cause I don't think anyone other than the aforementioned Kels or maybe The-Dream could possibly handle that task. The last thing I want to hear is Akon trying to do this shit.

Man, Ne-Yo's verse on this is so good.

Keri Hilson - fine. She's good looking, has just enough personality visually and vocally, but she's obviously overshadowed on this track. And not only by Yo and Ye, but by the beat! It's been a while since I heard a hip hop beat I liked this much on a radio track. The form of it is interesting, splitting each verse in half between lackadaisical paint by numbers bounce and frenetic hi-hat shit for which I am a total sucker.

A little too long, but I'm ok with that in a Summer Jam. 2009 is already shaping up to be better than 2008 on the Summer Jam front. I'm not gonna be surprised if this one wins out.

Oh and yes I do realized I never finished by top ten of 2008. The top three were Portishead - Third, Robyn - ST (yeah I know this came out in 2005 - I like this record fucking sue me), and Mount Eerie, Julie Doiron & Fred Squire - Lost Wisdom. All great records that you should listen to all night. If you wanna know how I feel about em, in particular, get in touch personal like. This shit don't come for free.

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