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Keri Hilson - 'Energy'

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Fraser McAlpine | 13:33 UK time, Friday, 11 September 2009

Keri Hilson

I know, from bitter experience, that it is REALLY easy to listen to new pop songs and just carp on about how similar they sound to other songs which have been around recently. And it's not very fair to do it either. The gene pool of pop ideas is startlingly small at times, so it's inevitable that songs are going to emerge with the similar DNA to other songs. That's sort of how genres are formed, and we're all reasonably happy about that, aren't we? I know I am.

This, however, is not a lovingly-crafted distillation of a few choice aspects of popular song, woven into a dense tapestry of sound and then placed into a hand-made display cabinet, which is buffed to a high sheen so the finger-marks don't show.

No, this is two songs being nailed together clumsily, and then thrown out in the rain, with a price tag hanging from one of the rusty spikes.

(Here's the video. Keri's relationship has clearly hit a Rocky patch...)

The songs in question are 'Apologise' by OneRepublic and 'Battlefield' by Jordin Sparks. Have a listen, and you'll hear 'em both, still recognisable under a thin coat of flaky sonic paint. It doesn't stop Keri from doing her best to convince us all that this is fresh and new, but then, she would, right?

She sings very nicely, it sort of stands up, but, as with 'Get Sexy', you're left being more impressed by the efficient recycling of ideas than you are moved by the emotions in the song. And it's not really Keri's fault, either.

It's like someone standing in front of a screening of the latest Harry Potter film and pretending to be Ron Weasley, shouting his lines over the soundtrack, dressed in a dyed-black sheet and waving a drumstick around, then hanging around at the end for applause as the credits roll.

On the one hand, it's harmless, and if you can tune it out, doesn't spoil your enjoyment of the thing. On the other, it's a bit crackers to expect people to be fooled. And kind of rude to demand money for the privilege.

Two starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: September 14th
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)


  • Comment number 1.

    This was one of my favourite singles of 08... is it only just released over there..?

  • Comment number 2.

    Yeah, apparently it was scheduled for release, but then withdrawn. Wikipedia said, anyway...

  • Comment number 3.

    The song doesn't sound anything like OneRepublic. And since it was written way before Battlefield, I don't see how it could be a copy of it.

  • Comment number 4.

    I kinda get what you mean but I mean, there are only so many chords aren't there. Music is bound to end up sounding the same eventually! (I'm kidding, of course)

    This song just bores me. It's no where near is good as Knock You Down, and not just for the cameos of Neyo and Kanye. Knock you down was much more interesting and the vocals seemed better.

    2 Stars? You are correct Sir!

  • Comment number 5.

    yea i dont see 'apologize' in it.. and yea this was released before battlefield in mid 08.. so erm.. i guess you're wrong fraser?

  • Comment number 6.

    I think it's a mishmash of different songs, not Battlefield nor Apologize, but definitely a mishmash. Can't quite put my finger on them though. In A Perfect World... is a decent album, but this song is quite lacklustre to be honest. Nothing wrong with conatining common elements of a genre, but this is uninspired.

  • Comment number 7.

    This song originally came out in April last year but only just been released as the fourth (?) international single. I believe it was the first release from the album Stateside. I think you are comparing the song with the wrong songs as other commenters have mentioned. It is perhaps better to compare it against Jennifer Hudson's If This Isn't Love. Hudson's song is much better and perhaps what Energy (with slicker production values) would have become. Having said all of that, I love the song, sometimes you do not care if it sounds like other more recent songs. Sometimes it is just about the moment!

  • Comment number 8.

    Well I guess Battlefield ripped this off then, as its so similar lol.

    Its also tripe. I hated Battlefield too, so no chance Id like this. She looks like a bit of a tramp too! I did like 'knock you down' though.

  • Comment number 9.

    I know a couple of people who hate Battlefield and every time I listen to it I can never understand why. It still remains amazing.

  • Comment number 10.

    The repetiveness. Battlefield... Battlefield... Battlefield... Battlefield... Battlefield... Battlefield... Battlefield... Battlefield... Battlefield...

  • Comment number 11.

    hahaha bloggingliam.. i had a double take at post number eight there as i thought you had written you wanted to knock keri hilson down.. i was thought it was a bit strong

  • Comment number 12.

    No. Id knock Jordin down though.


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