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I’ve been having this back and forth issue with Keri Hilson over the course of the promotion of her latest album No Boys Allowed. If you’ve been reading the blog, you know how I felt about her most recent video “The Way You Love Me”… but I decided that I would let it go, and let the music speak for itself.

That being said…I’ve blocked out every interview Keri’s done since the video was released just to write this piece for you all.

If you’re looking for a repeat of her debut album “In A Perfect World” you will be sorely disappointed. The first thing you’ll notice when you pick up No Boys Allowed is the lovely Parental Advisory Label. Parents be forewarned, they do not put those on albums just for fun. On “NBA” listeners will find Keri in a more assertive position in most of her songs. Aptly expressed in all of the singles that have been released thus far, she’s letting everyone know that A) she’s a woman, and B) she’s not to be [messed] with.

Ironically, the only features on the album come from men; J. Cole, Nelly, Chris Brown, Rick Ross and Kanye West all lend their talents to No Boys Allowed.

On “Buyou”, Keri revisits the same subject matter made famous by Destiny’s Child’s breakthrough hit “Bills, Bills, Bills.” J. Cole offers to be the man to save her from her mooching boyfriend. The result: one of the strongest tracks on the album.

My pick for best record comes with assistance from her frequent collaborator and friend Chris Brown. On “One Night Stand”, Keri and Chris are secret lovers…looking to extend their time together. The content may be a little suspect but the song is really smooth.

A couple more standout tracks include: “Toy Soldier”, a story about falling in love with a man who did not live up to her expectations, and “Beautiful Mistake”, a story about another love regretfully gone wrong.

Bottom line, No Boys Allowed is a completely different look for Keri. The subject matter is not as strong as her debut, but there are some definite club bangers on the album. You can preview her album on Amazon before you buy it. I’d suggest doing that before you buy it to put in anyone’s stocking this year.

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