Sunday, January 04, 2009

#71 Keri Hilson, "Energy"

I'm havin' nightmares from sleeping with the enemy
How did we reverse the chemistry?
I don't want us to be the end of me
This love is taking all of my energy

Gone was the processed electronic rush of "The Way I Are," and in its place was that odd species of '07/'08 single: a synth-featuring mid-tempo pop-R&B hybrid that managed to be both uplifting and downtrodden. While "Tattoo" and its ilk failed to sink underneath my skin, though, "Energy" succeeded. I'm not sure I could pinpoint exactly why. The lyrics (about a destructive love) certainly helped, as did Keri's voice, but ultimately, I think the closest I can get to explaining "Energy"'s success (sadly not in a commercial sense) compared to seemingly similar songs is that it soars while other songs stay planted on the ground. The synths are used more delicately here, not bogging down teh song, and even when they do come in in full force, they stay deep and expansive instead of treading in the middle ground. Add in the little piano riff and the upwards-seeking vocal melody of the chorus and somehow, despite it being part of a fleet of songs using a pattern never that exciting to begin with, you've got one of the year's most refreshings gons. A radio smash that never was.

Find it on: Energy (Single)

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