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Alicia Keys – Girls On Fire

December 2, 2012

AlicaAlicia Keys is probably the most all-around talented of the contemporary soul divas of the past decade.  She burst on to the scene in 2001 with a phenomenally  successful debut album (Songs in A Minor) that has sold over 6 million albums.  It has been a tough act to follow – subsequent albums had some hits, but nothing like that album.

Her new album is wonderful ear candy.  Although she has lots of collaborators on this album (writing, production, and performances), there is a nice unity to the album.  Mostly slow jams with positive uplifting lyrics.  For my old ears this is nice mix of classic soul and contemporary hip hop influenced soul.  There is not a bad cut on the album.

Highlights for me are “Fire We Make” which is a duet with Maxwell and has very tasty slow burning guitar solo from Gary Clark Jr.  “Not Even the King” with it heart on the sleeve lyrics. The penultimate cut, “One Thing” – a Frank Ocean ballad.  And the finale, “101,” which is a nice little pop symphony.  The closest thing to a misfire is the Nicki Minaj collaboration on the titular song.  Nicki’s rap just seems tacked on and does not add anything but a distraction to perfectly good song.  Overall this a very strong album that should give Rihanna and Mrs. Jay Z a run for their money.

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From → Music Reviews

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