Songs In A Minor (Expanded Edition)
Alicia Keys


Jun 20, 2019

‘HERE’ by Alicia Keys, one step away from having finished

I've always liked Alicia Keys a lot, her way of singing and the personal philosophy that surrounds her; however, her album HERE baffles me. It is very good that artists want their creations to be heard as something very personal in terms of music and the way they are recorded, but I think there are limits and compromises with the quality with which an album is delivered for its massive distribution. There are moments in the lives of artists who may be able to afford to show their fans a very intimate part of their creative process and let them see the magic of playing with other musicians and how they can improvise and rehearse issues, but there are certain quality standards that today cannot be passed. Because one thing is to show something raw and direct and another thing is to be in a hurry to finish things and deliver them as they are. At no time am I saying that the themes are bad, although some are not good enough to have been included in HERE. Maybe the least I could criticize about the album HERE are the lyrics, which are really good, but the whole part that involves the musical composition, the arrangements, interpretation, and execution, sound mix, and care in the details, it leaves much to be desired. I honestly do not know how her fans have received it, but I'm sure it was not with the enthusiasm with which they have received previous albums. I do not think it was a good time for Alicia Keys, to show off a bit improvised or even irresponsible, for having released an album that seems to have gone from rehearsals to definite takes. It is like a step before having finished with all the concerns that were for the selection of songs and certain details of these and then proceed to the recording studio and print the seal of quality. It shows that she came with a huge amount of ideas, all of them converged in the rehearsals and were hardly given them shape. But it was necessary to discard what was not useful and to polish what sounded good. Of course, the sensitivity of the artist is present because when you are genuine, all you love is what you do, but after love and sensitivity comes the professionalism of everyone involved in the project, Alicia Keys mainly, to refine and give a luxurious finish to all the songs that, the audience will finally hear. Quality control, I think it is the missing ingredient and unfortunately for the singer, the damages from the commercial point of view and the preferences of the public sometimes cost a lot to revert it. It is a carelessness that no one should allow unless she does not care about things anymore. I think there are many ways to wait for a better time if you are not sure or do not have enough time and concentration to risk so much at a time when the music industry is ruthless, and the public's memory is so short they do not forgive the fact that the artists release for sale materials that are inconsequential or little taken care of in terms of the quality of what is heard.

Written by @JorgeDiaz from Electro Arpegio
May 31, 2019

The Struggles of Alicia Keys

Music is a universal language. Many people who disagree on even the fundamental things seem to agree when it comes to good music. Personally, I have always been fascinated by the genius in artists who create masterpieces that millions of people can relate with on a personal level. One of such geniuses is Alicia Keys. If you are a lover of good music, you already know by now that whatever comes out of Alicia’s mouth is fire. I particularly found her fourth album titled The Element of Freedom, to be a whole different vibe. It has everything a good music album should have. The singles to blast in your car as you go about your regular day or the slow R&B to keep you floating as you drift asleep at night. The songs in this album are easily relatable. Personally, I feel like the lyrics came from a place of struggle. It is a reflection of what Alicia was passing through at the time of which it shows in the lyrics and rhythm. Alicia Keys has definitely come a long way. From her debut album, it was already clear that she was the one to look out for. Luckily, The Element of Freedom did not disappoint on so many levels. Within the first weeks of debuting, it become the number two on the Billboard 200, and sold over 400,000 copies in its first week alone. The song entered several other top rated charts such as the UK R&B Albums Chart where it spent 13 consecutive weeks on the chart. Both the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) also certified it platinum. All In all, the element of freedom was a commercial success. The sound and lyrics made it a worldwide sensation. You could barely get through the day without hearing some of the popular tracks on the song. The fact that the sound is unique from her other works makes it intriguing. Alicia Keys is a hardworking and intelligent artist. She puts all her energy and emotions into her songs and it shows.

Written by @OBP from Omobaba Pension

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