Speaking of Phil Spector knock-offs, Alicia Key's "You Don't Know My Name" just could be Kayne West's finest hour as a producer. This song ruled the airwaves for a week or two, when I lived in the suburbs after I graduated from college. I remember being taken in while driving around in my parents' car and not even realizing at first that I wasn't listening to the oldies station that played a lot of Motown. Thirteen layers of strings underneath the “baby-baby-babys” and “whoo-hoos” is downright Spectoresque, right up my alley, and I bought The Diary of Alicia Keys hoping for 14 more “You Don't Know My Names.” I was disappointed with the album as a whole and eventually resold the CD, but a great song is still a great song, and the ipod playcount stands at 18.
To be sure, the song is too long by half, and I could certainly do without the spoken word interlude. But for the first three minutes, it's as great a pop song as any.