Where has Alicia Keys been for the past four years? If the sound of her new single, “In Common,” is any indication, lounging poolside in the Caribbean. The song was released, as has become common practice in the music industry these days, surreptitiously in the middle of the night last night. That may have surprised some, although savvy Keys observers will have, well, observed that she’s the musical guest on Saturday Night Live this week and probably wasn’t going to sing “Girl On Fire,” again.
As for the song itself, it trades in Keys’ signature piano sound for low-key electronic production and vocals that recall Rihanna or Ellie Goulding. The whole thing has a distinct tropical vibe, combined with EDM flourishes that suggest you’ll be hearing this song on outdoor patios and mall PAs alike this summer. In contrast to the chill music, the anxious lyrics ask, “Who wants to love somebody like me? / You want to love somebody like me / If you could love somebody like me / You must be messed up too,” which we’re sure isn’t true. Alicia Keys is probably a delight.