Alicia Keys - Here album review: swinging for a whole different set of musical pitches

Wed, Nov 2, 2016, 15:12



Alicia Keys


R&B / Soul

Revitalisation rarely sounded so good. Alicia Keys’ sixth album owes much to the rich seam of activism which has energised the singer of late (see her We Are Here social justice campaigning), but also has her swinging for a whole different set of musical pitches.

There’s still trademark soft soul and widescreen balladry in the wash and Keys is still more than capable of working up an atmospheric storm as the bracing Holy War shows. Yet this doesn’t quite pack the same punch as the energy Keys brings to bear on songs like Blended Family (What You Do For Love)”, where A$AP Rocky brings a lot of heat to the party to match her own momentum.

Elsewhere, it’s the manner in which Keys uses those well-honed songwriting muscles to let songs like Kill Your Mama, She Don’t Really Care 1 Luv and Girl Can’t Be Herself tell her new stories that really resonate with the listener.