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Music Review

Alicia Keys: 'Girl on Fire' - Album review

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Released on Monday, Nov 26 2012

Alicia Keys - Girl On Fire album cover
"It's been a while/ I'm not who I was before," Alicia Keys admits on 'Brand New Me', the opening track of her fifth studio album. It's a big statement from the singer who, at just over ten years in the game, has stuck staunchly to customary urban soul without giving in to current chart trends. She previously dubbed Girl on Fire a reinvention, though fortunately it's not of the R&B-turned-club-diva sort. Trailer single 'Girl on Fire' is about as traditional as they come; an empowering, call-to-arms anthem with a melody not too dissimilar to her world-conquering hook-up with Jay-Z on 'Empire State of Mind'.

Elsewhere, the sound overhaul is eye-popping in parts - particularly on the Jamie xx co-produced 'When It's All Over', which blends smoky jazz with spacious, buzzing synths. 'New Day' also shares credits between Keys, husband Swizz Beatz and Dr Dre and features a militant drum pattern that feels more classic with each listen. Such freshness is far and few between, but there are still impressive moments to be found - 'Tears Always Win' is a cut of classic R&B soul that refuses to sound tired, 'Listen to Your Heart' is Sade-inspired funk, and '101' proves that when Keys is put in front of nothing but a piano, she's still a cut above the rest.



Tracks to download: 'When It's All Over', 'Listen to Your heart', 'New Day', 'Tears Always Win'
If you like this, you'll like: Emeli Sandé, Frank Ocean

Listen to Girl on Fire below:

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