Keri Hilson – ‘Energy’

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 ascreening 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.