Alicia Keys reveals and embraces all of her facets in 7th album studio « ALICIA »

‘Cause I’ve been trying to be everything I think you want me to be
I’ve been doing all the things that I think you wanna see
I’ve been trying to fulfill you with your every need
Now you falling for a person that’s not even me

« Gramercy Park » by Alicia Keys

What a come back. It’s been 4 years since Alicia Keys released the album « Here ». Her new one, « ALICIA » is out since this Friday September 18th.

This project was expected since 2019. Alicia introduced several singles: « Show Me Love » (ft. Miguel), « Time Machine » and « Underdog ». The final release has been postponed due to COVID-19.

This seventh album studio features 15 tracks and switches between her personal journey and her vision of the world.

Self-awareness: Meeting back your younger self

The video trailer says it all. First, we meet a little girl (Bri’Anna Harper) looking for Alicia. Then, we see the New York-singer-songwriter like we used to know her when she released her debut single « Fallin’ », nearly twenty years ago. She’s playing the piano, letting the magic happen.

The little one is Alicia’s inner child. She’s singing, asking for the grown-up Alicia to come back to her.

This is a great introduction to an album where she expresses her will to stay true to herself and how she’s now fully loving and accepting all of her facets.

Alicia Keys Mélanie DOMERGUE
Alicia Keys says this album is the most authentic she ever made.

Queen of R&B, princess of Pop, you name it.

« ALICIA » can’t be defined by only one musical genre. Neo soul, funk, a little bit of disco, gospel, reggae and of course R&B create a diverse and surprising world, filled with genuine lyrics.

There’s also a great variety of guest artists: Diamond Platnumz, Sampha, Tierra Whack, Miguel, Khalid, Snoh Aalegra and Jill Scott.

The piano’s still here too, like an old friend. It’s her roots. It creates a more intimate atmosphere (« Love Looks Better », « You Save Me ») or helps deliver a touching and powerful message about Black Lives Matter (« Perfect Way To Die »).

We could hate, we could love
We could doubt, we could trust
But we’re here to make meanin’
For as long as we’re breathin’
And it’s alright

« Authors of Forever » by Alicia Keys

« ALICIA » is a « take-me-or-leave-me » album. Authentic, honest. « I’m livin’ the way that I want » she claims in « So Done » (ft. Khalid) and she doesn’t want to apologize for that. It’s a wake-up call: « I’ve given in, I’ve changed my identity. I didn’t mean to go so far (…) I could be (Be) better than this. »

She admits her mistakes and what she did wrong, but it’s « alright »: she’s experimenting life, just like any of us do.

The album cover shows her in all of her facets, with her natural skin and natural hair. This is the real Alicia.

ALICIA is every woman

However, she’s not only talking about her life or her experiences. She uses her voice to represent those who can’t be heard. Her activism’s still here. We can hear it in « Underdog »: « Single mothers waiting on a check to come (…) On the run from a country where they put you in prison for being a woman and speaking your mind. »

Many artists want to release a self-titled album at some point in their carrier. Alicia seems to have come to a certain piece of mind, so now is indeed the right time to name a project after herself.

Mélanie Domergue

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