ALBUM : HERE
ARTIST : ALICIA KEYS
GENRE : R AND B
DATE RELEASED : 2016
In the beginning interlude, Alicia Keys committed to tell what she thought that were haven’t revealed at all. Thus, she said that she is the mystery on the turntables. Well, perhaps those looking for something new in terms of revelation, might be in for some disappointments as in the first song alone “The Gospel” she talked about ghetto lives which were already exploited by other black singers before her and especially black rappers.
Listen to live performance of “The Gospel” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWES5Gm-_jg
Lyrically, the songs in here are more of complains about black lives. She did not extoll the idea why black lives matter. She picture black people in some songs as useless creatures. Thus, you have her telling about cooks and crooks in “The Gospel” for example. While she speaks and sings of realities in this album, thankfully she never went too political in this record. There were no blame games in here.
Listen to “Blended Family (What You Do For Love) in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWACsH1f2So
Musically, some of the tracks don’t jive together like “Pawn It All” is trying to be forceful but the drum cadence and piano just don’t blend together the it blended it in “Blended Family (What You Do For Family.) Thankfully also that “Work On It” did not end up like a Fifth Harmony or Rihanna song that dealt with “work.” Although the harking background is much similar to what Madonna and Nicky Minay did in “ I Don’t Give A___) in the Queen of Pop’s MDNA album.
Listen to “Work On It” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbuGQ2ERqP8.
The most beautiful track in this record is “Girl Can’t Be Herself.” It will remind listeners of Grace Jones version of “La Vie En Rose.” There is a sense of irony as she sings about wanting to cry but the track is arranged like a celebratory song in the key of bossa nova. In “More Than We Know” there is this feeling that she wanted to recapture the elements of success she had with “Empire State of Mind.” This track is like going back to where she left off in the latter track.
I rate this record 3.5 stars for not being able to produce good old Alicia Keys songs. Well, it’s true that she needs to grow as an artist, somehow the tracks are not what you call artistic endeavor the way Beyonce did with her Lemonade album.
1 stars = Ignore it
2 stars = risk it
3 stars = borrow or buy it
4 stars = buy it and keep it
5 stars = buy, keep, and treasure it