The Element of Freedom…Alicia Keys album review

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one of the best R&B albums to come around in quite some time

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-Parlé Magazine

The Element of Freedom is quite possibly Alicia Keys’ best album. The complex melodies complement her forceful, yet delicate tone. Opening with “Love is Blind,” a tender ballad with heavy production, Keys, intrigues with a vulnerability that her vocals have never shown. Enchanting with sweet lyricism, it mystifies and helps develop The Element of Freedom into superbly worked rhythm & blues perfection.

On “Doesn’t Mean Anything,” the album’s lead single, Keys musters up the strength to go on without a lover. The heart wrenching lyrics allow her voice to bellow towards desperation as the piano simmers in the background. Alicia Keys capitalizes on her organic style with “Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart,” one of Freedom’s best. The song reaches into the feel of the album’s concept and direction.

Taking into account how powerful her timbre is, Keys, instinctively shines on “Unthinkable,” a sexy ballad similar to “A Woman’s Worth,” from Songs in a Minor. The sparkle in her voice touches the heart, taking the listener on a musical journey, few artists are able to accomplish.
“Like The Sea,” is a mid-tempo paradise, where Alicia eagerly takes advantage of the slick production that is exhibited. The metaphor on love is gracefully put forth in the track’s chorus, “love is like the sea/leads you underneath/first you’re floating high/then it takes you under.“ “Put it in a Love Song,” which features Beyonce, aims to please with unpredictable sassiness.

One of The Element of Freedom’s masterpieces is “This Bed.” The skillful singer is seductive with euphonious murmurs and vibrant inflection especially with the lines “please be beside me/these king sized sheets need more than just a queen in between them.” The Element of Freedom closes with a stripped down version of “Empire State of Mind,” where Keys bedazzles with elegance as she deeply expresses her love of New York City.

The Element of Freedom is two years in the making. Alicia Keys explained that this album dealt with overcoming depression and is a mixture of strong and delicate; a new sound and a new emotion. That’s a lot of who I am right now,” she explained. The set is certainly different from that of previous projects. Its mood is entertaining and intricately designed to soothe, fascinate and allure listeners with avant-gardeness. It is one of the best R&B albums to come around in quite some time.

The Element of Freedom receives a full PARLÉ

Kyle’s Picks From The Element of Freedom
Alicia Keys – Unthinkable
Alicia Keys – This Bed