Alicia Keys Drops Hot New Album: ‘Alicia’

An honest review of Alicia Keys’ seventh studio album.

Spotify's home page for Alicia Key's seventh studio album,

Spotify’s home page for Alicia Key’s seventh studio album, “Alicia”

James Piazza, Staff Writer

Alicia is the seventh album in Alicia Keys discography. It is characterized by very down to earth lyrics as Keys unpacks the realest version of herself listeners have seen so far. This album can really be summed up with the lyrics of the 10th track “So Done” (featuring Khalid). Through the song, Alicia and Khalid sing the lines “I’m livin’ the way I want.”

 

The album starts off with tracks that you wouldn’t necessarily think of as typical Alicia Keys. “Truth Without Love,” a track filled with tension and dissonance, fades into the wispy “Time Machine” with electronic instrumentation.

 

Alicia is mellow overall, but it still has moments where it shines. What stands out the most is the wide variety of instrumentation and influence from different styles. From funky bass lines, to elements of soul, R&B, and even reggae, this is certainly an album that has something for everybody.

 

One highlight from the album is the song “Underdog.” If a motivational speech were a song, this would be it. In this track, Alicia empowers single mothers, young teachers, student doctors, and sons on the front line to rise up to face their challenge.

 

Another great song off the album is “Gramercy Park”. It is lyrically raw, and Alicia sings about trying to conform to the standards of a significant other who has lost feelings. Listeners can truly hear the emotion in her voice and in the acoustic instrumentation. The track beautifully brings closure at the end as she realizes she has “forgot about the person that I used to be.”

 

The album is a back and forth. Alicia flips from tunes about love to ones that express her individuality. Perhaps this theme is a metaphor for falling in and out of love. This album is a coming to grips with this natural experience. “Where there’s light, there must be a shadow.”

 

Although Alicia is full of great songs, it can admittedly get a bit boring at times. She sometimes uses the same old tacky tropes about falling in love which makes it seem less original. The album can also get a bit repetitive, and there were certainly songs that would have been better if they weren’t 3 whole minutes.