Alicia Keys is a singer that has always represented a melting pot of a plethora of genres -- think R&B, soul, jazz, pop, hip hop. Being one of the most respected musical forces in the past few decades, the singer has won 15 Grammy Awards and sold over 35 million albums worldwide. The last album Girl on Fire was released almost 4 years ago and fans have been eager for more.
Keys' sixth studio album, Here, is now available. Here is a story consisting of 18 tracks, including 5 non-musical, recorded conversations dubbed as "interludes." Writing-wise the album is both risky and safe because there are tracks that have really outside the box musical decisions in them and then there are tracks that have that classic Alicia Keys radio-friendly hit sound. Prime examples of this notion are "The Gospel" and "Kill Your Mama" vs. "Blended Family (What You Do For Love)."
"The Gospel" features heavily poetic lyrics over a snare rhythm, piano, and brass instruments. Together it all makes a really different odd, but creative, feeling and for that I consider it a risky, experimental songwriting move. Another experimental idea can be seen in "Kill Your Mama" when Alicia has just her soulful vocals and a lone acoustic guitar. It's so simple but it sounds so huge and that's honestly incredible. On the other hand, we have song like "Blended Family (What You Do For Love)" that we've been all hoping to hear: the repeated pop vocal melodies mixed with appropriate percussion and a change-up of a bridge. The bridge this time features the talented A$AP Rocky and he brings a nice little rap dynamic into the musical creation. Overall Here is riddled with so many little clever ideas that it would take hours upon hours to really catch everything.
Alicia Keys is an artist that is always expanding her reach and dabbling in every area she can given her notoriety. As you know Keys joined the Voice this past season and has been killing it. On top of it she performed at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in support for Hillary Clinton. Basically she's doing as much as she can to make the world a better place.
Also in Alicia Keys news, the singer recently played a surprise set to celebrate the album. In style she was joined by Questlove, Q-Tip, Nas, John Mayer, and Jay-Z. “Alicia Keys: HERE in Times Square” premiered November 3 on BET but be sure to be on the lookout for clips around the web.
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