Alicia Keys – No One

First Hit #1: December 1, 2007

Would I like No One as much in any other context? Let’s be honest, I didn’t like 2007 musically for the most part, but No One was a weird bit of reassurance after one of the worst years in pop music. The issue with the year is that it beat its trends within an inch of their lives almost immediately, and Keys sounds refreshing just because she’s avoids the worst of them. There’s no robot voice, the otherwise simple ballad is built on very little but at least it’s built on Keys herself, who puts in a good performance. I did kind of wish it was a bit more complicated, it’s built primarily on percussion and doesn’t vary particularly large amounts, but immediately after Kiss Kiss it does right what that song didn’t. That’s why I think context matters more to my appreciation of the song than it’s actual merits – I likely wouldn’t choose to listen to No One, but god it’s better than much of the crap from 2007.

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One Response to Alicia Keys – No One

  1. musicosity1 says:

    It’s not great, but reasonably listenable, though a trained musician like Keys should be able to come up with something more interesting than I-V-vi-IV song #10,001. I do like Keys in general quite a bit. She’s game for slow R&B of course, but also for a New Wave album like the excellent “The Elements of Freedom,” for a rock duet with Jack White (, for committing heart and soul into an extremely silly soul rendition of a cartoon theme song ( She brings so much to the table — skilled pianist, singer, composer, model — that something’s bound to stick whenever she throws a plate of music against the wall.

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