Girl on Fire – Alicia Keys album review

Thought On The Alicia Keys Girl On Fire Album

Brand New Me would probably be a more fitting title for Alicia Keys latest album, her fifth. That’s the first song on her album and explains exactly where Alicia is in her life, with a husband, her first child, a new attitude and an overall new sound. The album title and lead single, Girl On Fire is even a sign of the new Alicia, providing her with her first Rap feature on an album cut by way of Nicki Minaj. Yep, I did the research, even  Jay-Z didn’t appear on her album version of “Empire State of Mind”.

 

Discussing the album with another Parlé writer, he pretty much summed Girl on Fire with one line: “It’s not nearly as good as the last one, but there are a few songs on there that are worth adding to an iPod playlist.” I’ll go further to say it’s really not touching any album she’s released in the past.

The stand-out track on the album comes through on track 7, her duet with Maxwell, “Fire We Make” is an exciting soulful ballad and an unexpected collaboration. It easily stands out above the rest. “Not Even the King” and “One Thing” are well written ballads that keep the listener hopeful in Keys, but the album seems to stray from the winning formula on a majority of the project.
“New Day” was a surprise to find on the album. The track was original put together by Dr. Dre for his Detox album. It was later given to 50 Cent for his Street King Immortal album. Alicia Keys’ chorus/intro was added and the track was released earlier this year. Not sure if the track will still be featured on 50’s album, but on this version Keys is solo and the production is spiced up with some new elements from Swizz Beats. Its safe to say Alicia and her husband should have left the track alone. Once you’ve heard the original it’s hard to enjoy this take, especially with her island flow on it.
That brings us to “Limitedless.” I had to check the spelling a few times on this one because its obviously just wrong. The track, much like the spelling, is not correct It’s another island feel track, probably better suited for Rihanna. It doesn’t fit Alicia at all, but producers Pop and Oak knew this. Not sure why they let this make the album.
Minus the flaws, Keys is still one of R & B’s shining stars. It may not be the case on this project, but hopefully this was a one time thing. In that case, Girl On Fire would be a perfect title. She wanted to do something a little hotter, a little more uptempo… It just didn’t work.  Remember Ne-yo’s Libra Scale?  Yeah, it’s like that.

 

Girl On Fire receives a PA

 

Rating:
P…Horrible
PA…Tolerable
PAR…Good
PARL…Kinda Great
PARLÉ… Classic

 


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Kevin Benoit

Kevin Benoit graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2007 with a Bachelors of Science in Legal Studies. Empowering the urban community has been a goal for Kevin Benoit for the past 8 years. As a freshman in college, in May of 2004, Benoit created Parlé Magazine, an urban entertainment magazine that focused on literacy through entertainment. The publication has since provided a stepping-stone for many individuals throughout the country, from teens to adults and continues to provide inspiration for inspiring entrepreneurs, writers, photographers and graphic designers. Read more articles by Kevin.

Kevin Benoit has 271 posts and counting. See all posts by Kevin Benoit

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