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.