Alicia Keys believes celebrities are the standard for wonderful relationships in the horrid “Unbreakable.”
Keys intros the song. She says that it’s new. She encourages the crowd to get into the song as she plays the opening notes. It sets a promising tone.
“Clap your hands everybody/Clap your hands/Come on, keep it going/Clap your hands everybody/Clap your hands everybody/Clap your hand/
Lets do it, you ready?/Come on.”
In the first verse, she says he could physically abuse her, like Ike Turner. They could contribute to their community and talk to young people about getting an education, like Bill Cosby. Camille is his wife, who is referenced also. She says they could be billionaires like Oprah Winfrey and her boyfriend Stedman Graham. She says they could live in the Cabrini-Green projects like James and Flo Evans on the sitcom Good Times. She adds they are just like the Evanses: they make jokes to get through the hard times. Meanwhile, their goofy neighbors will drop in and hilarity ensues.
“We could fight like Ike and Tina/Or give back like Bill and Camille/Be rich like Oprah and Stedman/Or instead struggle like Flo and James Evans.”
In the pre-chorus, she says they need to be as optimistic as the fictional characters they watch every week.
“‘Cause he ain’t no different from you/And she ain’t no different from me/So we got to live our dreams/Like the people on TV.”
In the chorus, she compares their relationship to a television show. Sometimes, like relationships, words get fuzzy and aren’t heard. Something is always going to happen, like the plot. Even though they may have to seperate temporarily, they will be back together within the week.
“We gotta stay tuned/’Cause there’s more to see (Unbreakable)/Through the technical difficulties (Unbreakable)/We might have to take a break/But ya’ll know we’ll be back next week/I’m singing this love is unbreakable
Oh yeah, yeah.”
Keys once again encourages the crowd to get into it.
“Yeah, clap your hands everybody/Clap your hands everybody/Let’s do it like this, come on.”
In the second verse, she says they could reveal every TMI part of their relationship like actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. They could be enterpreneurs Kimora and Russell Simmons. She says they could attack the press when someone says something bad about them like in the Jackson family. She says they could even have about five kids. They could have a Jackson 5 of their own.
“See, we could act out like Will and Jada(Will and Jada)/Or like Kimora and Russell makin’ paper, oh yeah/All in the family like the Jacksons(like the Jacksons)/And have enough kids to make a band like Joe and Katherine, yeah.”
In the pre-chorus, she says like, Katherine, she’s meek and like Joseph, he will be a drill sargent to the kids.
“She ain’t no different from me…like the people on TV.”
The chorus is sung again.
In the bridge, Keys says that they modeling their lives like their characters and actors they see on television.
“We’re living our dreams,yeah/We’re living our dreams/We’re living our dreams
We’re living our dreams/(Oh)/We’re living our dreams(We’re living our dreams)/We’re living our dreams(We’re living our dreams)/We’re living our dreams/(Oh yeah).”
The chorus is sung twice. However, for the second time it’s far more improvised. She says that even though they break up they will be back together soon. She also segues into the second bridge.
“And we got to stay tuned…Sing it one more time now/Ya’ll know we’ll be breaking up/But we just might be back next week/This love is unbreakable/(ha,ha,ha,yeah,yeah)/Break it down, break it down like this/Yeah.”
She says that they won’t have much. However, they will live their lives according to their values. They won’t cheat or swear or anything. It will be a sanitized life.
“No thing, no money, no sin, no temptation, talking ’bout nothing/No thing, no money, no sin, no temptation, talking ’bout nothing/No thing, no money, no sin, no temptation, talking ’bout nothing/No thing, no money, no sin, no temptation, talking ’bout nothin'”
The improvised second chorus is sung again but without the segue. It concludes the single.
“Yeah/(Unbreakable)/Yeah, yeah,yeah,yeah,yeah,yeah,yeah,yeah,yeah/(Unbreakable)/We just might be breaking up/But ya’ll know we’ll be back next week/I’m singing this love is unbreakable.”
Keys has the charisma for a live performance. She understands that people don’t want to hear an exact recording of the song from the album. She gets involved with the audience and tries to get them to sing along with her. There’s a spark in her live vocals that isn’t captured on the albums.
However, Keys’ celebrity worship and emulation is problematic in the single. She appears guillible and dim. She thinks that if they act like the characters they see on television, everything will turn out all right. She forgets that writers break down the script by the scene. And also, that it’s not real.
She also believes every denial by a celebrity on the Insider, Access Hollywood, or Extra. However, she forgets that it’s carefully orchestrated public relations. The marriages she points out have been either reported as open (like the Smiths’) or infidelity (like the Cosbys’.) None of it is the epitome of one’s life should be run.
The single assumes celebrities are perfect and wondrous human beings. They aren’t. Unlike the rest of the people in the world, they have lawyers and publicists to cover up their flaws.