Alicia Keys releases her fourth studio album ‘The Element Of Freedom’, here in the UK today. It features the hit ‘Doesn’t Mean Anything’, production from long time collaborators Kerry “Krucial Keys” Brothers as well as a duet with Beyoncé BUT is it any good?
Overall, it’s a decent album, it’s confident and assured but at times the pace becomes a little slow and heavy with most tracks being downbeat and reflective in their message of love and loss.
‘Love Is Blind’ kicks off proceedings in style – it’s a haunting track with vocals that are affected to create a disctinctive sound. It continues to look promising as the piano intro of the current single ‘Doesn’t Mean Anything’ begins, before taking you to the album highlight, the Prince-inspired next single ‘Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart’… a passionate, well crafted song.
From there, ‘The Element Of Freedom’ begins to sound ‘samey’… the songs are good, subtle but ultimately lacking in variety. ‘Put It In A Love Song’ features Beyoncé and brings some light relief and a welcome change of pace, before the songs return to the earlier imposing heavy sound.
It’s a solid album, the songs are well written and delivered passionately by Alicia, there are no unnecessary tricks or gimmicks, which, is to her credit but unfortunately at times it’s not always terribly exciting.