As beautiful as vibey and hazy R&B can be, there is a gap in the mainstream where vocal-driven harmony-stacked R&B used to be. The more R&B became conflated with hip-hop and rap, the less attention was given to the soulful gospel-driven and vocal-focused roots of R&B. Lucky for us, Alicia Keys and Miguel have (finally) reunited to give us a slice of tender and authentic classic R&B on “Show Me Love.”
It’s incredible it’s taken this long to hear both of these R&B icons on a track together again, but the result certainly does not disappoint. Over a dry guitar strums and reverb-drenched percussion Alicia delivers a passionate vocal performance. She employs a slightly breathy tone throughout her verses and chorus, but it’s the post-chorus melody that really steals the show. Alicia and Miguel are powerful singers and songwriters, and they flex their muscle in both lanes on “Show Me Love.” The breathy tone that they both sing in helps the song fit into the current R&B soundscape, but their harmonies and sheer vocal prowess help elevate the track. The bridge is perhaps the weakest part of the song, lyrically, but it doesn’t detract much from the overall greatness of the song. At just over three minutes, “Show Me Love” leaves you wanting more. Nonetheless, it’s an excellent introduction to Alicia’s new era.