Alicia Keys lacks “Fire” on new album

By Jair Fuentes

Grammy award-winning singer Alicia Keys attempts to make a musical comeback with her new album, “Girl on Fire.”

In today’s industry, R&B has become a risky genre to delve into. Keys has always been known for taking the genre by storm and delivering great vocals and amazing lyrics. This new album, however, seem to miss something.

The album kicks off with a classical intro entitled, “De Novo Adagio,” which segues into the first track, “Brand New Me.” It is a beautiful introduction to the album, but ironically, the song sounds like a typical Keys record. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is not what the title suggests.

Songs like “That’s When I Knew” and “One Thing” also feel like her past records. Fans looking for something different will easily skip over them.

The worst song on the album is the lead single, “Girl on Fire.” Lyrically awkward and featuring an unnecessary verse by rapper Nicki Minaj, the song is lackluster and a terrible choice for a first single.

However, it is not all bad. The album does contain some great material. Songs like “New Day,” which is the only upbeat song, and “Not Even The King,” which is lyrically intriguing, will keep listeners engaged.

Keys also briefly experiments with new sounds on songs like, “Listen to Your Heart,” which has a neo-soul vibe. As well as “Tears Always Win,” which has a Motown feel.

The best song on the album is “Fire We Make,” a duet with R&B singer, Maxwell. Through silky smooth vocals, listeners get to hear Keys use an upper register part of her voice, which she rarely exposes. Mixing her falsetto tone along with Maxwell’s, the pair makes an excellent musical combination.

While this is not Keys at her absolute best, it is certainly not her worst either. At this point in her career, it would have been nice to see some innovation.“Girl On Fire” is available in stores and on iTunes.

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