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Album Review: Alicia Keys, ‘HERE’

It’s finally HERE. The album you have all been waiting for. (See what we did there?)

Topping the iTunes charts at number one in its first day of release, Alicia Keys’s third studio album is to die for. The album as a whole combines simplistic melodies and passionate lyrics, making it, in our opinion, Alicia’s best album to date. Although, “No One” will always be one of our favorite midnight jams.

First off, the album artwork is STUNNING. Pictured is Alicia Keys, bare-shouldered, adorned with big hair and a freckled complexion. As always, Alicia Keys isn’t afraid to show off her natural beauty and embrace who she is, which is admirable for almost anyone in the world.

Even better than the artwork, the music. The album contains 16 songs, 5 of which are interludes. Each and every song holds its own power. More like its own message. Most, if not all, of the songs reference how broken the world is or how we are trying to fix problems. She references many controversial topics such as discrimination, poverty, gender norms, skewed priorities, remarriage, politics, and environmental problems.

In the beginning of some of the songs, you can hear laughing and talking. Without listening, you may be thinking, “Oh, that’s so annoying, I hate when artists just talk instead of sing.” And we totally get how your feeling. However, these added conversations really bring life to HERE. You can tell Alicia had fun making this album. That the making of the record happened naturally. The talking shows she took her time on the music and every word and melody came from her heart. The laughing almost makes you feel like you’ve been transported into the studio with Alicia. It allows you to see inside her head and become one with her music. That’s something that is so difficult for an artist to achieve. For many artists, talking can become annoying to their listeners real fast, but with Alicia’s album, her voice makes you want to listen. That’s why this album is so special.

There were two tracks on her album that rose to fame quite quickly. One of the tracks is “Holy War” which explains how twisted and broken the world is. How we, as people, are hateful and fearful of each other. Towards the middle of the song, the topic shifts to what it would be like if “sex was holy and war was obscene”. She wants the people of the world to love, heal, and be open to each other and “nurse our wounds before they scar.”

The second popular track is “Blended Family (What You Do For Love)” featuring A$AP Rocky. This song directly references Alicia’s remarriage and parenting experiences and how families can come together, despite their differences, all because of love. The song becomes especially soulful and harmonious when A$AP Rocky overlaps his voice with Alicia’s. The duo and the lyrics all blend (no pun intended) beautifully, as a whole, just like the theme of the song. We can definitely tell why this song has become a hit.

Many of the other tracks on the album had a whole different vibe than Alicia’s last album. Songs like “The Gospel” and “Pawn It All” had bluesy, edgy feels, while other songs like “She Really Don’t Care_1 Luv” and “Kill Your Mama” have more acoustic, smooth feelings. “Kill Your Mama” especially reminds us of Beyonce’s hit, “Daddy Lessons”.

HERE is reaching to a wide variety of listeners, including the ever-growing rap and hip-hop audience. This just proves Alicia is using music to bring people together. To connect people in a world of hate and desire. Alicia has a lot to say and she is using the perfect platform to get her message out and change the world.

So, what would we rate this album? We give it a solid 10/10.

Alicia is breaking barriers and making her imprint on the world one track at a time. We think this album will go down as one of the most influential records in history. Follow her on her influential journey and buy or download HERE on iTunes, Apple Music, or Spotify.

What do you think of HERE? What’s your favorite song on the album? Let us know by tweeting us @CelebMix.

 

Written by Brynn McCarthy

My name is Brynn and I am a 17 year old, aspiring journalist. Feel free to check out my articles and find me on Twitter @brynnmccarthyy or on Instagram @brynnmccarthy

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