Author: Shanel Brock
With nearly 15 Grammy’s and absolute success, Alicia Keys is back with the release of her forthcoming album “Here”. Keys has kept us guessing, as she performs bits of the album before its release date. This is the songwriters sixth studio album, which includes production from her husband, producer Swizz Beatz. The first single “Blended Family” featuring A$AP Rocky is included on this album, along with other influential tracks.
Needless to say, 2016 has centered its music around the appreciation of black culture, black movement, and black excellence. To tie that in, “Here” takes us on a path where we do exactly that and more. The album cover is as beautiful as the work behind it. Keys, with no make up and hair in its natural state, black and white as she is, we see a raw and angelic singer/songwriter.
“Here” has a different sound from the rest of her albums. This time around, Keys puts the piano aside on some tracks, and picks up guitar and other percussion instruments. This piano is our singer’s signature, but its her voice that is another key element. Keys vocals on this album is the most raw I’ve heard of her. She croons, wails, explodes, and hallows in and out. It’s almost like a live performance. On “Illusion of Bliss”, Keys voice creeks and wails as we learn the story of a misjudged drug addict. With this song alone, you’ll find that Keys vocals will leave an effect on you. You’ll begin to feel the emotion and meaning behind the song.
With the make up free movement Keys announced earlier this year, comes “Girl Can’t Be Herself”, as she talks about the struggle young black women face when it come to beauty appearances. Keys points out an interesting and inspiring fact on “You Glow (Interlude)”. She talks about a past time where a student in her history class discredited the word “n*gga”. In return, claimed that we aren’t even black, but we glow.
With the year coming to an end, we’re glad its ending on an album like this. We hope that the work put into this art will pay off with more than a nomination, but a way to impact the listener. Without further adieu, make sure you experience “Here” for yourself.
Listen to HERE on Apple Music.