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Girl On Fire - Single

Alicia Keys

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Album Review

After the release of The Element of Freedom, her fourth consecutive chart-topping and platinum studio release, Alicia Keys not only married Swizz Beatz and became a mother but stacked collaborations with Drake, Kanye West, Marsha Ambrosius, Jennifer Hudson, Emeli Sandé, and Miguel. The collaborative spirit continues all the way through Girl on Fire, an album sporting a list of around 20 co-composers and nearly a dozen co-producers. A small but significant portion of the album has Keys somewhere in the past, grappling with or sifting through a stifling relationship. That's the way the album begins, with the alternately reserved and cathartic ballad "Brand New Me," one of three songs written with Sandé: "You look surprised your words don't burn me anymore." Two of the better songs, both of which feature assistance from John Legend, immediately follow and are closer to Keys' personal breakthrough. The first one, "When It's All Over," is a gushing testimonial over a dizzying Jamie xx co-production — a clash between acoustic jazz, synth funk, and minimal techno that will either thrill or repel. "Listen to Your Heart," the second one, is mechanical yet plush and dials it back for Keys to embrace new love; it's one of Rodney Jerkins' unassuming yet stunning beats. After a pair of bombastic anthems — including the oddly written "Girl on Fire," which has her "living in a world, and it's on fire," then "on top of the world" with "both feet on the ground" and "our head in the clouds" — the album loses its grip. It hits a low with "Not Even the King," an obvious "love is worth more than money" ballad, and "That's When I Knew," a tender back-porch ballad presumably about Mr. Keys. (If the mind wanders, consider that the object of affection is the man behind hits such as "Money, Cash, Hoes" and "It's Me B*#@hes.") Once "101," the last listed track, fades out, a chaotic outro fades in and peaks with Keys screaming, in a celebratory and defiant manner, "Hallelujah — kicked down the door!" It ends the first chapter of her new life with several exclamation points, but it's missing one. The album could have used some swift and uplifting neo-disco like "Million Dollar Bill" or "Everybody Needs Love," exceptional songs that Keys and her husband wrote and produced for Whitney Houston and Jennifer Hudson. [An LP version was also released.]

Customer Reviews

Welcome Back, AK!! We Missed You!

Alicia Keys has NEVER failed to bring the true essence of R&B that seems to be missing from the rest of the pop/auto-tuned/catchy-for-2-seconds-but-not-real-music garbage that is being played on the radio today!! I am SO happy that she is back with a vengeance with this new single and upcoming album. I am eagerly looking forward to see how her personal growth as being a wife and mother will reflect in the overall professional depth and growth within her music! WE LOVE YOU, Alicia! Welcome home, AK.

Absolutely amazing...

This will be the song that knocks "We Will Never Ever Getting Back Together" off the Billboard #1 spot!

Is it just me?

This song seems like the perfect Hunger Games song like it should be Katniss's theme song. But anyway it's still a great song. I think this is better than the version with Nicki Minaj no offense to her. Very repetitive though.

Biography

Born: January 25, 1981 in New York, NY

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

By mixing R&B with a sultry dose of neo-soul, Alicia Keys became an international star in 2001 with the release of her debut album. Songs in A Minor sold more than 50,000 copies during its first day of availability and eventually moved over ten million units worldwide, thus setting the stage for the 20-year-old's long career. Although she shared the charts with R&B contemporaries like Destiny's Child, Keys' talent distinguished her as a different sort of diva, one who played a variety of...
Full Bio

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