Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Alicia Keys Is Making a Lot of Money for ’90s Pop Star Edie Brickell (Also Mrs. Paul Simon)

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Edie Brickell, Paul Simon and their whole family are probably in love with Alicia Keys right now. The reason? Alicia’s latest single, “Blended Family,” is based entirely on Edie’s early 90s hit “What I Am.”

I hadn’t heard “Blended Family” until this morning. But now I realize that like most of Alicia’s recordings, it should be called “Blended Song.”

The whole song is supported by the guitar lick from “What I Am.” It sounds like Alicia just sampled it and stuck it on her record. Why bother playing it yourself?

All of Edie’s New Bohemians are listed in the songwriting credits, too. Imagine this– last night I went to a party for Carole Bayer Sager. She wrote all of her songs herself, maybe with one or at most two collaborators. No sampling! All those hits and they were original!

Alicia has great, catchy hits. But nearly all of them are based on other, older and often obscure songs. “Empire State of Mind” comes from “Love on a Two Way Street.” “You Don’t Know My Name” came from a Main Ingredient song. And so on.

I do like the Rocky A$AP rap in “Blended Family.” But musically, the record is just about the guitar lick. And the Brickell-Simons raking in some $, I hope!

Seriously, when Alicia Keys first started out in 2000 I thought she was amazing. I was so excited that she played the piano, she knew composition, she could write her own songs. I thought she was a throwback to writers like Carole Bayer Sager and Carole King. But she’s not. She’s a Mixed Media artist or something. If you turned work in like this in sixth grade you’d get an F and told you were guilty of plagiarism. Now, it’s rewarded!

Edie and the New Bohemians
 

Alicia Keys

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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