The long wait for Alicia Keys' new album is over.
Delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, "Alicia" dropped today — six months later than expected. It's the singer's seventh studio album and her latest since 2016's "Here."
Keys has described the album as “genreless” and while that’s not technically true, you can definitely see where she’s coming from.
As ‘ALICIA’’ glides from throwback funk (‘Time Machine’) to dewy reggae (‘Wasted Energy’), and languid R&B (‘Show Me Love’) to folky soul (‘Gramercy Park’), there’s a sense that Keys cares more about mood here than any specific sound.
This is an album that shimmers with warmth and cautious optimism from start to finish.
“We’re all in this boat forever, and we’re sailing towards the future and it’s alright,”
Keys sings on ‘Authors Of Forever’, a balmy gem with a hint of ’80s Lionel Richie to it.
‘Love Looks Better’, a bombastic pop-soul ballad produced by Adele and Beyoncé collaborator Ryan Tedder. Keys also continues to engage politically in the song 'Underdog' co-written with Ed Sheeran. The song contains an unpretentious and affecting shout-out to “young teachers” and “student doctors” as well as “single mothers waiting on a check to come”.
‘Perfect Way To Die’, is a timely ballad written from the perspective of a grieving mother whose son has been gunned down by cops. When Keys sings...
“just another one gone / And they tell her to move on,” it’s a casually damning condemnation of her country’s inadequate response to police brutality.
The album ends with a warm musical healing song ‘Good Job’, a piano ballad dedicated to “the mothers, the fathers, the teachers that reach us” and other ordinary people just trying to get through the day.
Keys is set to tour again in 2021, hitting spots she had initially planned to play in 2020 prior to COVID-19 shutdowns.
Listen to 'ALICIA' down below.