Review: Alicia Keys – Girl on Fire

Fourteen-time Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and producer, New York Times best-selling author, entrepreneur and humanitarian, Alicia Keys has just released her highly anticipated fifth studio album, Girl On Fire.

The title track and first single released from the album ‘Girl On Fire’, is a powerful and infectious track about “finding your voice, being unleashed and about trusting your instincts and trusting yourself,” says Keys.

Alicia Keys has some serious roots within the classical music genre and fans are reminded of that fact with the precision of the piano notes on intro track ‘De novo adagio’. The album emits her raw talent by incorporating various moods, ideas, and constant sparks of creativity.

Collaborators on this album include Maxwell, Emeli Sande and the legendary Babyface who has written and produced for major A list artists including Diana Ross, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston.

‘Even The King’; a song about things that matter features only piano keys and voice and was co-written by Emeli Sande. The track immerses you in idealistic lyrics that paint love as the most valuable currency of all; it’s soulful, raw and you almost forget Keys is a multi millionaire for a second or two.

Enter Bruno Mars; who co-wrote ’Tears Always Win’, a fine retro sounding R’n’B track that says turn the volume up; sip some tea/coffee, whatever you’re into, and just chill.

It’s great to see Keys diversifying her collaborations on this album; one would think that 14 Grammys later, she would go it alone. She loaned the track ‘New Day’ to 50 Cent for his forthcoming album; it’s not the first time she’s done this as we saw with the ‘Empire State of Mind’ collaboration with Jay-Z.

The consistency and simplicity of this album is the beauty of it, Keys voice definitely filled the room left blank by the minimal use of instrumentation and production.

Rating: 4/5

Mark Dutch Lye

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