|Song by Leona Lewis from the album Echo|
|Recorded||at Conway Recording Studios, Los Angeles, California, United States; Dean Street Studios, London, England; The Vault in Stockholm, Sweden.|
|Echo track listing|
"My Hands" is a song recorded by British singer-songwriter Leona Lewis for her second studio album Echo (2009). It was written by Arnthor Birgisson and Ina Wroldsen and produced by the former. Alongside Birgisson, Lewis was involved with the song's vocal production. Lyrically, it is about life after the end of a relationship. The strings were performed by Urban Soul Orchestra, who were led by Simon Fischer.
"My Hands" was selected as the official theme song for the English version of the video game Final Fantasy XIII. Lewis decided to accept the offer of her track being used as she felt as though she connected with the video game's female protagonist, Lightning. The song garnered a mixed response from music critics, who described it as forgettable, despite noting that Lewis performs the song undeniably well. In March 2010, "My Hands" debuted on the UK Singles Chart at number 145.
Background and production
"My Hands" was recorded for Lewis's second studio album, Echo, which was released in November 2009. It was written by Arnthor Birgisson and Ina Wroldsen, and produced by Birgisson. Both Lewis's vocals and the instrumentation for the track were recorded by Seth Waldmann at Conway Recording Studios in Los Angeles, California, United States, Dean Street Studios in London, England and The Vault in Stockholm, Sweden. Birgisson and Lewis carried the vocal production. The strings were performed by Urban Soul Orchestra, who were led by Simon Fischer; they were arranged and conducted by Stephen Hussey.
Additionally, the strings were recorded and engineered by Rich Cooper at British Groove Studios in London. All guitars were provided for by Esbjörn Öhrwal, while the choir was organised and arranged by Lawrence Johnson. The vocals performed by the choir were recorded by Neil Tucker at Metropolis Studios in London. "My Hands" was mixed by Manny Marroquin at Larrabee Studios in Universal City, California; he was assisted in the process by Christian Plata and Erik Madrid. Stephem Simmonds contributed background vocals.
Composition and critical reception
Lasting for a duration of 4:12, "My Hands" is a song about "life after the end of a relationship." It is composed in the key of D major using common time and is 80 beats per minute. "My Hands" garnered a negative response from music critics. Andy Gill for The Independent listed it as one of the top four tracks to download from Echo, along with "Happy", "Lost Then Found" and "Brave". A reviewer for CBBC's Newsround labelled the song, along with another track from the album called "Broken", as "pretty forgettable." The reviewer continued to write that although Lewis's performs the songs undeniably well, they do not stand out compared to "Happy" and "I Got You". Michael Cragg for musicOMH wrote that the chorus of "My Hands" "erupts" and "bludgeons the listener into submission" and that its meaning becomes overshadowed.
Usage in media
"My Hands" was selected as the official theme song for the trailer of Final Fantasy XIII. The video game was first released in Japan on 17 December 2009, which uses a different theme song called "Kimi Ga Iru Kara", written by Masashi Hamauzu and sung by Sayuri Sugawara. However, international versions produced by NTSC and PAL feature "My Hands" as the official theme song. Gabriel Zamora for Examiner.com wrote that despite sounding "loud" compared to Hamauzu's song, "My Hands" suits the nature of the video game and "seems to fit well." She continued to write that fans had hoped that "My Hands" would not replace "Kimi Ga Iru Kara" completely, instead wanting a new track called "Eternal Love" to be the official theme song. Although, she noted that the use of Lewis's track for the entirety of the trailer seemed to make this an "unlikely" notion.
As part of promotion for the video games release, Lewis recorded a promotional advert for Square Enix (the video game's developer and publisher) and spoke about how she was happy to have been approached about the use of "My Hands" on the trailer and that it had some personal meaning. She said "I'm thrilled to be collaborating with Square Enix on such a groundbreaking game. I never would have imagined 'My Hands' as such a perfect fit for Final Fantasy XIII, but the strong female protagonist struck a chord with me and I can't wait to see Lightning do her thing."
- Standard edition
- "My Hands" – 4:12
- United States standard version
- "My Hands" – 4:12
Credits and personnel
- Recorded at Conway Recording Studios, Los Angeles, California, United States; Dean Street Studios, London, England and The Vault, Stockholm, Sweden.
- Choir vocals recorded at Metropolis Studios, London, England.
- Mixed at Larrabee Studios, Universal City, California, United States.
Credits adapted from the liner notes of Echo.
|UK Singles Chart (OCC)||145|
- Echo (inlay cover). Leona Lewis. Sony BMG, J Records, Syco. 2009. B005GRTNXC.
- "'Echo' (Deluxe Version) – Leona Lewis". iTunes Store (Great Britain). Apple. 13 November 2009. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- Cragg, Michael. "Leona Lewis – Echo". musicOMH. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- "Digital Sheet Music, Leona Lewis 'My Hands'". Musicnotes.com. Peer International Music Publishing. 2009.
- Gill, Andy (13 November 2009). "Album: Leona Lewis, Echo, (Syco)". The Independent (Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- "Album Review: Leona Lewis – Echo". Newsround (BBC). 19 January 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- Zamora, Gabriel (13 January 2010). "Final Fantasy XIII, international trailer featuring Leona Lewis' 'My Hands'". Examiner.com.
- "Final Fantasy XIII – Leona Lewis". Gamer Spawn. YouTube. 14 February 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- "'Echo' – Leona Lewis". iTunes Store (United States). Apple. 17 November 2009. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- "Chart: CL UK Update". zobbel.de. Official Charts Company. 20 March 2010. Retrieved 18 January 2013.