Single Review: Kiley Dean “Who Will I Run To”

Who Will I Run To
Album: Simple Girl
Year: 2003

On Kiley Dean’s sparse, plain website, she is touted as a sweet, southern girl from a small town who reaches her dream of becoming a pop singer. R&B producer/songwriter Timbaland is quoted as saying “Kiley Dean…where pop music is going.” Not unless if “going” meant backward, considering her music is stuck in 1999.

The snoozy “Who Will I Run To” plods along, unaware of its simplicity and moronic lyrics. In the single, Dean has made a mistake and let a good guy go. In the first verse, Dean sings that the guy was the only she could really talk to. Mixed metaphors and useless similes follow when she divulges “when he hurt me you were my prince/sent straight from above/like a fool I never saw/you were falling in love.” First, it’s angels, not princes who are sent straight up above. But it must really crowded up there with the angels and princes. The conversations must be really entertaining, too. Angel: “Today, I helped a young woman discover herself through numerous self-esteem and motivational talks. What did you do today, Prince?” Prince: “Today, I found a young, lonely woman and told her all the answers were in me. We talked about mundane things and then we made sweet, sweet love, in which I gave her first orgasm.” The grammatical mistake in the last part of the verse. She is already a fool, why say she is like a fool? It would’ve made sense if she sang instead: “I was a fool to never see you were falling in love.”

In the chorus, she mainly says the good guy listened to her all problems and was her shoulder to cry on and now she doesn’t have anyone to confide in (“Who will dry my tears
When I cry/who will I run to/and who will I turn to”). She finally owns up to her mistakes in the second verse (“you were the one I took for granted all these years”) and vows to have him in her life again. Other grammatical errors are made. She sings “’cause I want you back forever more.” It’s a poetic expression used for art that has substance to it. It’s not supposed to be used for run-of-the-mill, dreck like “Who Will I Run To.” In the third verse, she sings that she will “gladly journey across the deep blue sea” if it meant having him with her again. She later asks, “who will be there for me/who’s gonna rescue me/who’s gonna share my dreams/who’s gonna mend this broken heart.” This girl needs friends. She would have some if she didn’t depend on her boyfriends for all her emotional needs.

Kiley Dean’s voice is not the least bit distinctive. Throughout the entire single, she sounds as though she is imitating Christina Aguilera. She copies every single Aguilera vocal mannerism. The throaty “yeah, yeah’s”, the high notes (which are strained) and the whispery opening notes.

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