Alicia Keys - Keys

funky

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New album that is dropping with almost no fanfare in December, but it seems like based on recent releases she’s not chart chasing any more, and maybe that’s wise. Also offers new opportunities for more experimental and classic sounds, and the new single is so gorgeous and hypnotic - a real grower:



Album out in a couple of weeks.
 

Jark

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this is out and I only just realised tonight it exists.

the concept is a bit weird - "originals" (disc one) is "classic" sounding Alicia tracks, soulful and mostly self-produced, and "unlocked" (disc two) is bigger productions by Mike WiLL Made It, mostly of the same songs...

the disc one tracks are really warm. I didn't hear any major standouts yet but the soundscape is really lovely. and then disc two contains this absolute corker of an uptempo



:disco:

excellent artwork too. need to spend more time with it, but this feels like a really nice surprise. let's see if she can win me back after a decade in the artistic wilderness.
 

funky

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I’m obsessed with Best Of Me, my favourite track of hers for ten years or so. Haven’t listened to the album yet
 

POP!

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I haven't really done Alicia since The Element of Freedom - and "In Common" (that remix) for a brief moment - which of course is fabulous.

I will give this one a try. I've mostly seen favorable things about the "Unlocked" disc but that the "Originals" disc is a chore.
 

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She should have just released a green disk for country versions, a red disk for pop versions, and a blue disk for “world” versions
 

funky

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I agree, the first thing that struck me about the Originals version was that there was so much classic full-circle Alicia stuff. I see the second half as a remix album.

She's also much less shouty than she'd been in recent years. The foghorn stuff has mostly gone which didn't suit her at all. I have no time for "No-One" and don't understand why it's one her most popular songs.

I need to give this a proper listen but I'm more interested in her than I have been in a long time
 

KindaCool

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It's a step in the right direction for her I think, after some of the featherweight acoustic stuff she'd been doing.

I ACHE for her to return to neo-soul, but I think I'm just bitterly hanging on :D

I think she's strained her voice quite a bit over the years but she still sounds great
 

Suedey

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Oh but she really called her album Keys did she?

oprah-winfrey-mad.gif
 

Jark

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I think she's strained her voice quite a bit over the years but she still sounds great
agreed. she mostly sounds really good and sticks to a range that flatters her voice, but on some tracks like Like Water there's an unhealthy level of strain.
 

Jark

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so it turns out she has absolutely garbage taste in her own music.



Element second last? Thanks, I hate to see it! I choose to accept this as a yuletide troll move.
 

POP!

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I'm really only familiar with The Element of Freedom these days. I owned The Diary of Alicia Keys back in the day but can't say I remember any of it aside from the SANGLES.

But TEOF being second to last is still a travesty.
 

POP!

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The ranking is weird after watching her (quite good) recent interview with The Breakfast Club. She was beaming about Girl on Fire when it was brought up then.
 

POP!

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This debuted at #41 on the US Billboard 200 with 20.8k units. Apparently the physical album isn't out until February, so this was just digital sales and streaming. She didn't learn from Lana :(

Her last album debuted with 62k at #4. All of her studio albums except this one made top 5.

It failed to chart at all in the UK.

And I Oop Whatcha Say GIF by Jasmine Masters
 

RJN

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Alicia Keys Top 10 (top 4 all 11s)

1. Un-thinkable
2. Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart
3. No One
4. If I Ain't Got You
5. Doesn't Mean Anything
6. That's How Strong My Love Is
7. Like You'll Never See Me Again
8. In Common
9. Fallin'
10. Gangsta Lovin
 

Jark

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I don't know if I can quite summon a top 10, but the top half at least comes easy

01 Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart
02 Like You'll Never See Me Again
03 If I Ain't Got You
04 Un-thinkable (I'm Ready)
05 Fallin'
06 You Don't Know My Name
07 This Bed
08 Wait 'til You See My Smile
09 Daffodils (originals)
10 Heartburn

Like You'll Never... is such a serene, gorgeous lullaby of a song. quite forgotten now, and overshadowed by No One even at the time, but a real understated masterpiece.
 
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POP!

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Off the top of my head:

1. Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart
2. Un-thinkable
3. Empire State of Mind
4. You Don't Know My Name
5. Like You'll Never See Me Again
6. Doesn't Mean Anything
7. Karma
8. In Common (in its original form and Kaskade Remix)
9. If I Ain't Got You
10. Wait Til You See My Smile
 
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POP!

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I really am not a fan of her shouty anthems (ESOM is the exception - what a triumph of a performance from her) - see Girl on Fire and No One
 

dUb

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Her shouty ones are unbearable ESPECIALLY No One

But I must acknowledge that without it we may not have DAISIES! DAISIES! DAISIES!!!
 
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funky

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I’m not a fan of most of her shouty anthems either but I could easily do a Top 20. Love me some Alicia. Her old neo soul stuff and her middle career poppier stuff

She’s been a bit all over the place in recent years and her albums have suffered. She doesn’t really have her own sound anymore. That list she did was very :eyes: and clearly she’s in a very specific place music wise. Good for her but she did absolutely fuck all promo for this album and it shows.
 

funky

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This has emerged as my choice track from the album, apart from the single which is one of my favourite tracks of hers now.



The album itself is bloated and I'm not a fan of the two album concept, I can't get to grips with the tracklist. Unlocked has the best highs, but Originals is more consistent.
 

Jark

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completely agreed. and that is the best song.

Daffodils is my favourite track on Originals.
 

Berly

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I tried to get into originals, it was just so boring.

One song piqued my interest but only because it sounds identical to an early Mariah Carey track
 

Suedey

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1. Try SLEEPING with a Broken Heart
2. Empire State of Mind
3. KarmA
4. Girl On Fire
5. Falling
6. Unthinkable (I'm READY)
7. No One

And that's it.
 

funky

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Another one has hit me. This has a lovely 90s neo-soul groove.

 

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