Album Review: Alicia Keys – ‘Girl On Fire’
Since the release of her debut album ‘Songs in A Minor’ 11 years ago (seriously) in 2001, Alicia Keys has continued to provide the public with what were so desperately craving – a soulful modernist with the brain of a hip-hop loving New Yorker and a heart obsessed with pianos; inspired by the greats. It is undoubted that regardless of what Alicia is going through – from heartbreak, to getting married or even giving birth – she has provided us with tracks that are strong enough to stand the test of time; I’ll name her debut track ‘Fallin’ as just one example…
Ms Keys fifth album ‘Girl On Fire’ features tracks like ‘New Day’, ‘Not Even The King’ and of course, the explosive lead track ‘Girl On Fire’, which Nicki Minaj recently jumped on for the remix.
From ‘Listen To Your Heart’ to the Emeli Sande co-written ‘Brand New Me’, it is clear to the spectators ear that the 31-year-old is certainly evolving, regardless of the subtlety of the change – like Beyonce, Alicia in her 30's sounds more self-certain and confident whilst singing about love, leaving her days of naivety back in her 20’s – whether or not this change impacts her music for the better, I remain unsure.
With Sade-inspired vocals at times, the album is rather mellow and forgetting about the lead track, which is electric, I certainly wouldn’t listen to the LP and think anybody was on fire.
My opinion swayed upwards on hearing the bouncy ‘Limitedless’ and I found her talking to her son Egypt on one song highly endearing. But otherwise, the impression I get is that this girl is not on fire, she’s in a content relationship. Whilst this is a beautiful thing, as is the album itself, does it make for explosive art? I'll let you decide.
Words: Maz Khan (@MazHalima)