Review: Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys

Girl on Fire by Alicia KeysAlicia Keys’ fifth studio album is what you’d expect her to do. Her vocals can still soar, her songwriting can still provoke thoughts, and her vibe… well… this one’s a bit different. Now happily married, and a mother too, you’d be forgiven to think that Girl on Fire sees Keys mellow down. And true, the album does sound mellow, perhaps way too mellow, with stretches of minimal ballads that wouldn’t sound out of place in a smooth jazz station. You wouldn’t forget her duet with Maxwell, “Fire We Make”: it’s sensual and completely loveable. Also worth mentioning is “Tears Always Win”, a co-write with Bruno Mars that’s more swinging yet not completely outright lively. Maybe it’s me yearning for early Alicia Keys, the one with a bit more punch, but I’m not complaining about whether she’s headed. She can afford to pull something like this off now. | 3/5

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