Album Review: Paris Hilton – Paris

Paris Hilton - Paris Artwork

Paris Hilton is an American media personality, singer, actress, model, socialite and businesswoman. She is also the great granddaughter of Conrad Hilton who founded the Hilton Hotels chain, as such she was born into exceptional wealth, and as a result much of her early media coverage was centered around a very specific party girl/heiress stereotype. This image is one which Hilton herself has subsequently harnessed and carefully cultivated. This did however, by her own admission, make her later attempts in business more difficult because people believed the public persona she had built around herself.

Hilton’s career first began when she modeled as a child for various charity events, and then later as a teenager she signed up with New York based modelling agency, Trump Model Management, later shortened to T Management (which was founded by Donald Trump in 1999 and operated until April 2017 when it was closed shortly after Trump became the 45th president of the United States). After being signed to Trump’s agency, she was featured in a September 2000 issue of Vanity Fair, where she was photographed by David LaChapelle and you can check out that Vanity Fair issue here

It was after this that her public image began to grow, she garnered considerable attention and made headlines for her party girl lifestyle, which culminated in some private adult material she filmed back in 2001 with her then-boyfriend Rick Salomon, being leaked online without her consent. Hilton responded to the leak by stating categorically that she did not approve it’s public release, and later sued Salomon for his subsequent official release of the material. In an interesting turn of events, the situation mentioned above mirrors the one experienced by Kim Kardashian, who also had private adult material filmed with her then-boyfriend Ray J (a.k.a William Ray Norwood Jr.) back in 2002, leaked online without her consent in 2007. The reason that this is interesting is because it was due to her association with Paris Hilton, as her friend and personal stylist, that Kim Kardashian first began to attract media attention herself. Also a brief note, and another similarity between the careers of Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, Kim also released music, one track, entitled ‘Jam (Turn It Up)’, which I also reviewed and you can check that out here.

Anyway, the release of the aforementioned adult material, in conjunction with the debut of her television show, The Simple Life, which aired on Fox (and then later E!) did however, have the effect of launching her into international stardom. The Simple Life ran from December 2003 until August 2007, and featured her alongside her childhood best friend and fellow socialite Nicole Richie working a variety of manual and/or low paying jobs. During this period in her life, and afterwards Hilton also started acting and was featured in various movies (such as The Hillz, Raising Helen, House of Wax, Bottoms Up, The Hottie & The Nottie and Repo! The Genetic Opera) and television shows (such as George Lopez, The O.C., Veronica Mars, My Name Is Earl and Supernatural).

Regarding business, she has also been incredibly successful, and as a result is incredibly wealthy. This is completely disregarding her inherited family wealth, which was in fact severely reduced because in 2007, her grandfather, Barron Hilton pledged 97% of the Hilton family fortune to a charitable organisation established by his father called the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. So, even without the Hilton fortune, Paris has managed to build a business empire of her own, with over 50 Paris Hilton stores worldwide, selling her various products, and approximately 19 product lines, which include a perfume brand (with at least 28 distinct fragrances), a skin care range, clothing, shoes, makeup, jewellery, lingerie and dog clothes.

So there we have it, although I am certain you were already familiar with Paris Hilton, hopefully you are a little more informed after her career and it’s highlights from my introduction above but now let’s move on to why we are here today. I will be reviewing her debut album, Paris, which was released on August 22nd 2006.

‘Turn It Up’ opens with a horn that flows forward into a percussive heavy beat that goes perfectly with Hiltons, whispery, sultry vocals. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Paris Hilton as a musician but honestly this was better than most. Catchy, and even managed to feature her iconic catchphrase. Not bad at all. 

‘Fightin’ Over Me’ I liked the furious piano keys throughout, and Hilton’s vocals, which were light and airy, contrasted well with the heavier male vocals. It would be easy to mistake this for mindless pop but it has a nice vibe to it, a lot of time went into it. A particular highlight was the rap breakdown courtesy of her featured artists Fat Joe and Jadakiss, set to a piano undertone. Returning to Hilton for a moment, even though her natural voice is quite gentle, she manages to deliver her lines with strength and a raw confidence that adds a lot to the performance. 

‘Stars Are Blind’ changes things up, a more up tempo beat, that somehow makes me happy, I will say I felt that Paris’s voice has an almost mournful quality to it that kind of juxtaposed with the the vibrant music backing but it really worked, and certainly made me take notice of this track. In fact it’s an early contender for my favourite track on the album. 

‘I Want You’ changes things up again, it opens with a big party vibe, before slowing somewhat, Paris has a truly lovely voice, I do worry that without proper mixing she might get lost in a busy, and instrumental heavy track like this, but she holds her own, bringing something unique to this track as she’s done with each track previously. I really liked the beat of this one in particular, it was catchy, a low of energy, certainly something that would get you up and dancing. This one also had an amazing vocal breakdown towards the end, that picked up the pace of her delivery just a touch, as if she too was swept away by the momentum of the track. 

‘Jealousy’ opens with rich, deep strings, that provide a truly sensational emotional resonance that lingers even as a more synth driven percussive beat takes over. It was during this track that I truly fell in love with Hilton’s voice. It’s not perfect, but it doesn’t have to be, it’s tailored well to the track and truly reaches you as the listener. 

‘Heartbeat’ has a smoother intro, it builds, a vibrant shaking tone throughout that puts me in mind of maracas, and blends with a slightly heavier percussive tone. Both wrap their way around one another and support Hilton’s voice, which if anything surprised me even more in this track. The song had poignance, emotion and just worked incredibly well. 

‘Nothing in This World’ is more lively after the last track, opening with some string chords that are built on by some broad percussive rhythms and in this track Hilton just let’s loose. While I’ve enjoyed her vocals so far, and found her voice to be engaging, I’ve felt she’s been too in control it’s not been stiff by any means but it never felt like she was pushing herself vocals, this changes that up and shows her pushing it just a little bit and the result is a punchy, track that much like ‘Stars are Blind’ also secures a spot as one of my favourite tracks on the album.

‘Screwed’ has a rougher energy, a driving bassline that works well with her voice, it adds a heaviness that counterpoints with her own tones and blends together to create a high energy track that again shows us another side of Hilton. I particularly liked the blend of bass and percussion on this track, it gave it plenty of energy and bounce. 

‘Not Leaving Without You’ has a kind of country twang of the bat that honestly had me thinking I had skipped to another artist, but honestly much like other tracks on this album I’ve found that Hilton’s vocal compatibility is quite broad. I do like the frantic energy of the instrumental backing, counterpointed by Hilton’s own vocals which are more controlled. 

‘Turn You On’ has big energy right away, a synth driven beat, heavy on percussion and beat, and this is the first track where it sounds like Hilton’s voice might be modulated or augmented in any way. It has a lot of spice to it, and it has nice vocal breakdowns throughout. Honestly I think this takes the top spot, something about it just really works, I mean to an extent music making has an algorithm to it, things which do and don’t work and this just has the right amount of all the right things, it’s almost insanely catchy and so for that reason it is my top pick for this album. 

‘Do Ya Think I’m Sexy’ has a nice energy to it, a cover of the Rod Stewart song of the same name, and honestly I think it’s a decent cover. She adds her own seductive spin on the vocals, and the instrumental backing has a nice swinging energy, plenty of synth sax, all building to create a really fun closer to what has been a great album. 

So that’s what I thought of Paris Hilton’s debut album ‘Paris’ and if you want to check that for yourself then head on over to Spotify. Make sure and support the artist by following them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or by visiting their website.

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