First Impressions: It's A Brand 'New Day' For Alicia Keys

Thursday, June 28, 2012


A lot has been said of Alicia Keys these last couple of years or so, and not all of it has been peaches n' cream. In fact, a lot of it has been vile, icky, and sticky, and if you rotate around the music commentary circles that I do, it's apparent (to me) that Ms. Keys has been banished to some form of Singer/Songwriter Siberia. Her personal life has cast that shadow as well as her recent musical output, as not too many enjoyed 2009's The Element Of Freedom (well, I did as it grew on me). What I gather is that Keys didn't rise to the occasion and hype, and we're all sore about it, hence the backlash. Or maybe it's something else? For some reason, I get the animosity towards Keys. Her voice hasn't been the easiest to listen to in these last years, and her material has been hit-n-miss, her decline starting somewhere around 2007's lackluster As I Am. But Keys still has viable moments that show her at her best and that I can't overlook, it's just that I wish she stick to things on a caliber that "Un-thinkable (I'm Ready)" was on, because when Keys is good...she's real good.

Before diving into this, let me just say Keys looks gorgeous in that photo, but I can't glow the same praise for "New Day", Keys' freshly minted first single from her upcoming fifth album. The Swizz Beats produced "New Day" is brassy in attitude, drips with positive go-getter vibes, and riddled with urgent percussion, and Keys sounds animated throughout---it's got all the perfect trappings for summer cruising in the fast lane. Just that overall it's pretty real run-of-the-mill, with a lot of annoying "eh-eh-eh's" in-between that have to be Rihanna inspired. It just feels too generic and safe for Keys considering her past material. Still it coasts by on its sunny disposition, and with Keys citing in the lyrics a future so bright, shades and a 'deal with it' attitude can be donned to this little gaffe.

6 comments:

  1. HEY! I love this post! I love Alicia Keys and yeah she has been under some scrutiny lately in the last year! thanks for this post! hit up my page

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  2. don't care for the Alicia gossip (hey i'm a fan of her MUSIC), but i second your opinions of her music being somehow hit or miss in the last years.

    This new song is too 'rihannish' and so so mainstream...a bit tacky, too.
    Oh how I wish she went back to rnb and The Diary of Alicia Keys. those were the days.

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    1. I'm like you I'm a fan of the music, but the gossip just irks me. It's like everyone acts like Alicia is the first woman in the world to break up a marriage...it's not right, but it's too much hate put upon her.

      Oh 'Diary' is my album! That album will always be my all-time favorite from her, it's just perfect to me. The right blend of modern R&B with old soul. Those really were the days...

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  3. Personally, I think her last album was a career best. It was the kind record, a straight ahead R&B record with adult pop touches that should have followed up her second LP. So, I was quite satisfied with it. It'll be interesting to see where she goes next.-QH

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    1. I didn't like 'Element' too much when I first heard it, but it really grew on me and I like it second after 'Diary'. There are some wonderful songs on there.

      I'm interested too on where she's going with this new record, I hate to base it solely on this song, but I hope she extends what she did on that last album because I saw a lot of growth that time out.

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