“Anytime” by Brian McKnight (1997)

My first real breakup coincided with the release of this song. You’d best believe that I played the ever-loving shit out of it.

I did a little bit of Googling before sitting down to write this post. The piano riff at the center of “Anytime” is a pretty blatant rip of “Outside Your Door” by Me’Shell NdegeOcello, a superior talent but not as big a star (unfortunately). Unfortunately, Me’Shell is not listed in the song credits and apparently McKnight has asserted that he was not familiar with “Outside Your Door” prior to composing “Anytime”.

Apparently Me’Shell took legal action and lost her case, which is also some bullshit.

I’m almost tempted to dock “Anytime” a star for that obvious lie, but the song has too much of a personal connection to me.

Anyway, I’ll discuss “Outside Your Door” more later (spoiler alert: it’s also a 5-star song). The piano riff in question has a much more sadder context in McKnight’s song. It’s quite haunting, actually. And even though I’m not willing to give McKnight the benefit of the doubt in regards to his unwitting usage theft markedly similar piano melody, I certainly give him credit for writing a great melody and lyrics.

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