Alicia Keys is earning strong review for her latest album, Girl on Fire, which is being called her best effort in years.
As the Washington Post reported, Girl on Fire is nothing like the weaker efforts from Alicia Keys in the past, when she relied on guest artists like Jay-Z to add personality to her albums. Instead it is Keys who fills this album with life, especially on tracks like “Girl,” her first release post-marriage and post-motherhood.
Girl on Fire is Keys’ highly anticipated follow-up to Element of Freedom, one that comes three years in the making. As ABC News noted, some feared that Alicia Keys would lose some of her passion or creativity on her fifth album, but that is not the case:
“But there is no reason to fear such a thing on Key’s fifth album, which starts on a classic AK note, with the ‘De Novo Adagio’ piano solo and then segues into the ballad “Brand New Me,” which shows Keys’ writing at its most empowering: ‘It took a long, long time to get here/it took a brave, brave girl to try/it took one too many excuses, one too many lies/don’t be surprised if I talk a little louder, if I speak up when you’re wrong/if I walk a little taller, I’ve been under you too long/if you notice that I’m different/don’t take it personally/don’t be mad, it’s just a brand new kind of me.’ “
Girl on Fire also has many notable guests, including Frank Ocean and Bruno Mars. This album shows a slower side to Alicia Keys, with mostly slow, contemplative tunes, though ABC News notes that when she does kick it a bit more uptempo, it still works.