Archive for ivory tinkling

91. ‘If I Ain’t Got You’ by Alicia Keys (2004)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on December 13, 2009 by G.K. Reid

From the off, Alicia Keys bored me rigid. Serving up perfectly accomplished but endlessly dull piano ballads where the lyrics allege emotional turmoil, Keys as a performer remained oddly remote, lacking in either rawness or panache. But I find myself becoming gradually, mildly more interested in her. The starting point was catching a performance she gave of If I Ain’t Got You, on what I believe was the Jonathan Ross show.  Truthfully, the song is hardly a departure from her M.O. but something about this one stuck.  There’s a simplicity to it that actually makes it seem timeless.

Bonus points: It’s tricky for a popstar to express this kind of anti-materialist sentiment without it sounding preachy and hypocritical, or the song collapsing under the weight of it’s own “message”. By singing in that resigned, observational tone and placing the emphasis on the personal, Keys dodges the bullet.