You'll know Keri Hilson from her appearance on huge hits like The Way I Are and some of her more successful solo endeavours, not least the sublime Knock You Down which was suitably huge last summer. Her debut release In A Perfect World... (all ellipses artist's own) was somewhat patchy but with songwriting credentials for artists and occasional gems, Hilson has proven she has something of a good track record.
Currently prepping a second album for releases Stateside this month, entitled No Boys Allowed, Hilson has been dropping a number of singles to build buzz. The latest is clearly her attempt to cause a bit of a stir in a manner not unlike Christina Aguilera back in her Dirrty days.
And with that I bring you The Way You Love Me. A noisy, frenetic piece of pounding R&B pop, it's an unholy mess but I find myself loving it quite a bit. Produced by Polow Da Don (who I rave about all the time and is becoming master of the kind of destined-to-flop-skank-ho anthems I truly love) it's not a million miles from Christina's flop single "Not Myself Tonight" (also produced by Polow). It's probably going to flop hard wherever labels are brave enough to release it but it is endelssy entertaining. The track is basically Keri screaming "Fuck Me!" and talking about her pussy (that's right, her pussy) over a jittery beat.
The song is something of a trainwreck but the video just makes it even better. The directorial debut of choreographer Lori Ann Gibson who is famous for working closely with Lady Gaga, her appearances on Making the Band and a cameo in Honey (WHAT A CV!). The clip is part girls-gone-wild wannabe gangster film and part sexy club hoe down.
The choregrapher is admitedly great and Hilson is on fire. But it's also ridiculous. Featuring JoJo (yes, THAT JoJo) and Faith Evans (far from the days of I'll Be Missing You now Faith, aren't we?) as part of her bad ass posse Keri jumps between limp acting and flailing around like a Pussycat Doll on a week long drug bender.
That's not to say it isn't a pile of fun to watch, so gleefully trashy that it's almost laudible and shot with great skill by Gibson who makes a decent hash of moving things along. For an artist who has struggled to find her own identity in the pop world, this video is an interesting move. I can see it doing her more harm than good long term but much like the aforementioned Not Myself Tonight by Xtina, it's an enjoyable demented twist in the usually dull world of marketing a popstar.