Picture of Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Slow Jam Saturday: Keri Hilson, Slow Dance

Keri Hilson, a talented and alluring artist, has been focusing on her acting career. However, she is preparing to embark on ‘The R&B Money Tour’ alongside other R&B acts such as Tank and Carl Thomas. For this week’s Slow Jam Saturday, I would like to highlight one of my favorite slow songs by Keri, “Slow Dance.”

Hilson had already made a name for herself as a songwriter well before her debut album, “In a Perfect World,” hit stores in March of 2009. The sixth single from her debut album, Hilson wrote the song with Justin Timberlake and The Royal Court (who also handled production duties). Radiating a psychedelic flair that playfully nods to the iconic 1980s Prince ballads, this song exudes a vibe that would seamlessly fit into a Janet Jackson or Mya album. The lyrics convey a desire for a special moment shared with a partner on the dance floor.

In the first verse, Keri asks the boy to put his arms around her and suggests she has something to show him. This verse indicates that she wants to open up emotionally and physically to him. She also emphasizes that no other girl can rock his world like she can, indicating her confidence and allure. The pre-chorus implies that the moment between them should be savored and made to last forever. It suggests their bodies attract each other, but the narrator wants to take things slowly and not rush into anything. The chorus portrays the transformative power of slow dancing. Keri acknowledges her attempts to be ladylike and not come on too strong but admits that something extraordinary happens when they slow dance. 

In the second verse, Ms. Keri suggests that words cannot express her feelings and desires. Instead, she recommends using physical touch, specifically her fingers and hips, to communicate. The line “Read between the lines” suggests an unspoken understanding between them as they bump and grind on the dance floor. The bridge emphasizes her desire to represent her partner and their love to the rest of the world. It implies that their connection is so strong that it captures the attention of everyone around them. It also reflects the idea of giving all of one’s love to the person they are dancing with. The repetition of the line “This one’s for the dance floor, strictly for the dance floor” in the bridge and outro reaffirms that the song is dedicated to the powerful and transformative experience of slow dancing.

“Slow Dance” portrays the magic and intensity of a slow dance. It highlights the connection between two individuals as they move together in perfect rhythm. The song celebrates the exhilaration and joy experienced on the dance floor, specifically when slowing down and genuinely connecting with a partner. 

Final Grade: B+

“Slow Dance” is available on all streaming platforms.

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Slow Jam Saturday: Keri Hilson, Slow Dance