From The Vault is back this week with a jam from 15-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys; today’s pick is ‘Doesn’t Mean Anything.’
After the gargantuan era that was ‘As I Am,’ the star didn’t waste time and released her fourth studio album ‘The Element Of Freedom’ in 2009.
‘Anything’ was issued as its first single. Lyrically, it followed the footsteps of her signature song ‘If I Ain’t Got You,’ with Keys claiming that all the material gains in the world don’t hold as much value if they can’t be shared with loved ones. Again, familiar terrain for the songbird.
Sonically, the cut can be considered a close sibling to her 2007 hit ‘No One’.
Produced by Alicia alongside former partner-in-crime Kerry “Krucial” Brothers, it didn’t fare as well as its predecessors in the US. For, it never scaled higher than #60 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Still, in Europe it was yet another Top 20 hit for A.K. Indeed, it became her seventh Top 10 in the UK after reaching #8; the same peak it enjoyed in Germany too. In France, the song hit #17.
The P.R. Brown directed video skewed simple (yet effective); it saw Alicia leave everything behind and go in search of more. A metaphor for starting over and focusing on what truly matters.
Given the length and breadth of her talent (together with her consistency), we’re more than ready for Alicia’s return.
With her last era (‘Here’), it was clear she aimed to re-assert herself as an “artiste”. The end product was a solid, cohesive album, but one that lacked the lightness than was sewn into the thread of past projects.
Sometimes looking back to map out the future is advantageous; as such we’d love to see Ms. Keys re-engage with sounds such as ‘Doesn’t Mean Anything,’ ‘Teenage Love Affair,’ ‘Put It In A Love Song,’ and even the polarizing ‘Girl On Fire.’ All with a fresh twist, of course.