Alicia Keys strikes lucky with her self-titled seventh album, with melodies and lyrics serving as a reminder that good things are still prevalent and will always thrive.
Through her struggles and overcoming them, coming to a point of being introspective, she represents everything a woman wishes to be when she grows up: respected, yet so self-assured, that joy pours out of her from every crevice.
Though her seventh album was four long years in the making, it couldn’t possibly have come at a better time. For followers of her monumentous career spanning over two decades, she’s a talent that’s impossible to ignore. Now more than ever, her most recent body of work is a shining example of an empowered woman who knows herself, both in musical stylings and life, and is unwavering in her content with that.
Thematically, this album is all about showing how multifaceted she truly is. ‘Love Looks Better’ and ‘Show Me Love’ shows an adult fully in love and comfortable in her sexuality. ‘Underdog’ shows her as the positivity-advocate, about paving one’s own way as though life can be an even playing field. All of this confidence is consistently present, but also whilst staring at her past insecurities/mistakes right in the face so she can laugh at how hindsight brings the upmost clarity.
Right off the bat, she opens up a non-conformist mindset in ‘Truth Without Love’. “What if I wasn’t Alicia? Would it please ya? ‘You can’t understand me’ is an understatement”, she claps back at her haters. ‘Time Machine’, a funky, galactic beat that would make you want to stomp and sway, details this message of youth being wasted on the young further, with the lyrics, “Young life flies out the window/It’s not the time that changed us/It’s the dreams that we weren’t chasing/coming back to haunt us eventually.”
At the heart, Keys aims to be an inspirational figure when she feels she can, encouraging community and peace. Her biggest example of this, ‘Good Job’, makes you believe for a few minutes that the world is actually capable of redemption, and as if division is incredibly simple to solve. Although these tracks seem perfectly tailored to fit the current state of our 2020 world, in a ironic twist of fate, they were written before any of this came to pass.
ALICIA features all the elements we’ve come to expect from Alicia Keys, but in a take that somehow feels fresh every time. Hope and harmony embody this album; her ability as an artist to check her ego at the door and free-flow through her creativity and talent, is the ultimate takeaway that we are all better for: nothing compares to being your authentic self.