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Alicia Keys - Keys

  by Zena Grieg

published: 18 / 1 / 2022



Alicia Keys - Keys
Label: RCA
Format: CD X2

intro

Versatile double album from Alicia Keys which is split into two parts, one consisting of new songs, and the other of reworkings of songs from her back catalogue


Following closely on the 20th anniversary reissue of her debut album ‘Songs In a Minor’, which originally sold 65 million records, winning five Grammys for its innovative blend of soul with classical piano, R&B and jazz, the American singer/songwriter and musician Alicia Keys has released a new double album, her eighth. ‘Keys’, comprising two parts, Originals and Unlocked, which is a 26-track collection of contrasts. The stripped-back 'Originals', which Keys has described as a return to her roots, is imprinted by vintage jazz and soul with soulful piano songs carried by her strong, mellifluous vocals. Highlights include: the opener ‘Plentiful’ with its novel transition from lush ballad to rugged hip-hop from Pusha T; the ballad ‘Skydive’, punctuated by piano and drum; the slow-burning, moody ‘Best Of Me’, with its syncopated drumbeat, reminiscent of Sade’s ‘Cherish The Day’; the six-minute torch-song reflection on unrequited love ‘Is It Insane?’; and the contemplative, timeless ‘Love When You Call My Name’ with its minimalist accompaniment and feel-good layered vocals on the chorus. 'Unlocked', co-produced by Keys with hip-hop producer Mike Will, features mostly upbeat reworkings of the songs, with collaborators and co-writers ranging from Swae Lee to Brandi Carlile. The tracks are propelled by a robust rhythmic backing, giving a contemporary feel. In this musical hue stand-outs are: ‘Skydive’, which becomes funky; ‘Best Of Me’ is transformed by electronic effects; ‘Is It Insane?’ becomes even more quietly frenetic; and the languorous melancholy of the collaboration with Khalid and Lucky Daye illuminating ‘Come For Me’. Re-imagining an album is a route which several artists including Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa and Paul McCartney have taken, but Keys has gone a step further in releasing simultaneous original versions and remixes, an experiment showcasing her versatility and impressive musical palette.



Track Listing:-
1 Plentiful
2 Skydive
3 Best Of Me
4 Dead End Road
5 Is It Insane
6 Billions
7 Love When You Call My Name
8 Only You
9 Daffodils
10 Old Memories
11 Nat King Cole
12 Paper Flowers
13 Like Water
14 KEYS
15 Only You
16 Skydive
17 Best Of Me
18 LALA
19 Nat King Cole
20 Is It Insane
21 Come For Me
22 Old Memories
23 Dead End Road
24 Love When You Call My Name
25 Daffodils
26 Billions


Band Links:-
https://www.aliciakeys.com/
https://www.facebook.com/aliciakeys
https://twitter.com/aliciakeys


Label Links:-
http://www.rcarecords.com/home
https://www.facebook.com/rcarecords
https://twitter.com/RCARecords


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