Alicia Keys: Girl on Fire

aliciaAlicia Keys
Girl on Fire
(RCA Records)

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Alicia Keys’ new album, Girl on Fire, continues to musically and emotionally define and redefine her as an artist. Having appeared in an episode of The Cosby Show and also studying classical piano at a very young age, she later went on to win five Grammys in 2002 for her first album, Songs in A Minor. With each subsequent album, she seemingly grows bigger musically while her songwriting delves deeper emotionally. Whether it is an autobiographical ballad, a single designed to ignite the dance floor, a love song or the bombastic anthem, “Girl on Fire” featuring Nicki Minaj, Keys’ charismatic persona remains emotionally relatable despite higher heights and major successes in sound and as an actress. The writing collaborations are quite impressive and feature John Legend, UK super soul singer Emeli Sandé, Bruno Mars and Frank Ocean. Helping out vocally on the lusty “Fire We Make,” is the sexy R&B singer, Maxwell. This song oozes with so much vocal sensuality the softened horns and boom-bap of drums is so bedroom. “When It’s All Over” begins with a go-go groove on drums and slowly evolves into a dizzying techno jam speaking truth about how love really does enhance a lifetime. Between the optimistic surround sound mantra on the soulfully uplifting “New Day,” or the sentimental wonderment of “One Thing,” Keys reigns with an unending amount of fresh artistic vibrance that continues to captivate and inspire.

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