James Ingram – I Don’t Have the Heart

First Hit #1: October 20, 1990

I don’t like the piano James Ingram uses on this song. In the video he uses a real piano, but in the actual song it’s some kind of synthesized version and it sounds pretty cheap. I also don’t like the electric guitar that kicks in late in the song, since it doesn’t seem to have any reason to exist. We’ve got a song built on strings and piano, and then suddenly this guitar butts in like an uninvited guest at a party thrown by some polite people. It doesn’t belong, but nobody is going to ask it to leave because it would make a scene and spoil the light adult-contemporary vibe.

Which is a shame, because I do like Ingram’s performance, he does a lot with what he’s given and he’s got a quality voice to push it all through. He’s not doing anything new – in all honesty, I kept expecting this to be tied into a Richard Gere movie – but he’s good at what he does, and it’s a shame that his performance is undercut by some bad production.

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One Response to James Ingram – I Don’t Have the Heart

  1. RBerman says:

    I too prefer real piano to acoustic piano patches on keyboards. I don’t mind the big “rock ballad” finish so much; it’s a way to modulate the feel of the song, like when the Big Drums enter at the end of Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight.” The Bangles’ “Eternal Flame” does the same with drums as well. Really, I’m surprised they made it that far into the song without drums.

    The lyrics hit a topic rarely seen in pop songs: Someone is infatuated with you, and you can’t reciprocate, but you don’t want to be mean about it. It’s presumably just as common an occurrence in real life as the “Why don’t you love me?” flip side is, so why aren’t there more songs about it?

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