Ella Henderson – Alibi (feat. Rudimental)

Ella Henderson’s new song “Alibi” is not only a collaboration with the band Rudimental, but it also invokes nostalgia thanks to the sample of a famous 1990s hit. Released on January 12, “Alibi” is Henderson’s second collaboration with Rudimental, as she previously appeared on the group’s 2021 release “Handle My Own.” In the song, Henderson warns a partner that she knows they lied to her and are cheating.

The sound of “Alibi” is instantly recognizable thanks to the sample of the 1995 hit song “Gangsta’s Paradise.” Released by Coolio and featuring L.V., “Gangsta’s Paradise” famously interpolates Stevie Wonder’s song “Pastime Paradise” from 1976. As “Alibi” is an electronic dance track released in 2024 and “Gangsta’s Paradise” is a memorable hip-hop track from the 1990s that calls back to the 1970s, “Alibi” represents a culmination of decades of music. It showcases how artists inspire other artists, evokes musical innovation, and carries on musical themes even as trends change.

At the start of “Alibi” the rising choir from “Gangsta’s Paradise” is unmistakable in the song’s production, and this sound plays in a consistent loop throughout the single. While the sample from “Gangsta’s Paradise” fades in and out throughout “Alibi,” a strong and fast-paced percussion beat takes over, solidifying “Alibi” as a pop dance track.

Lyrically, “Alibi” wastes no time and begins with a chorus as Henderson repeats, “You better run and hide, baby, I know where you were last night /  So I’m lightin’ up the sky, settin’ fire to your paradise /  You ain’t got no, you ain’t got no, you ain’t got no alibi.” As Henderson sings as the background vocals of a choir subtly add an ominous feeling to the words.

More is revealed in the first verse of “Alibi” when Henderson sings, “Bet you wish you never playеd me /  You took her in our bed, you got no respect / What did you expect? Now I burned this house down / To the left, I’m on to the next / I’ma get my sweet revenge.”

So far, there is not an official music video for “Alibi,” but a visualizer for the single shows a hand holding a lit match and repeatedly burning the word “ALIBI” written in red.

While it runs for just over three minutes, “Alibi” is a short song with only one verse, two choruses, a pre-chorus, and an outro. With its change in tempo midway through the song, the pre-chorus before the second and final chorus also functions as the song’s bridge.

With its short run time, catchy and memorable production, and an addictive message of revenge, Henderson’s “Alibi” featuring Rudimental is the perfect song to be looped on repeat, danced to in a club, or sung along to on the radio.