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Artist : Alicia Keys

Genre : R & B, soul

Label : RCA

Producers : Babyface, Swizz Beatz, Jeff Bhasker, Antonio Dixon, James “Malay” Ho, Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, Alicia Keys, Oakwud, Andrew “Pop” Wansel, Salaam Remi,Jamie Smith

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‘Girl on Fire’ was Keys’ first release with RCA , when Sony decided to pull the plug on JRecords. Like the grand history of Keys, this one also debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart. With positive reviews rolling out, it really has to be analyzed as to whether it is worth the hype. It is time to find it out for ourselves.

                                   Track                                      Rating
De Novo Adagio                             ★★★★☆
Brand New Me                             ★★★½☆
When It’s All Over                             ★★★½☆
Listen To Your Heart                             ★★★★☆
New Day                             ★★★★½
Girl on Fire(Inferno Version)                             ★★★★½
Fire We Make(Alicia Keys & Maxwell)                             ★★★½☆
Tears Always Win                             ★★★★½
Not Even The King                             ★★★☆☆
That’s When I Knew                             ★★★☆☆
Limitedless                             ★★★½☆
One Thing                             ★★★★☆
101                             ★★★★☆

 

Album Analysis :

1.De Novo Adagio

The name ‘Adagio’ has a long history. It has been a term used in various tracks right from the time of Beethoven and Mozart, and have been remade innumerous number of times in various versions. It is precise enough to say that Keys has given enough justice to the history of the term in this track. A complete piano work, it is very blissful and reminds us of a pure, classic piano concert. A great start!

2.Brand New Me

What puts this song in jeopardy, is the apparent mismatch between instrumentals and the voice. While the instrumentals are majorly on the piano, Keys’ voice in this track shed a kind of inexperience throughout. You feel that the lyrics have been stuffed in, just to make it work and at places, especially in the chorus, it strikes you that the melody has been just left incomplete. But, towards the end, when the instrumentals suddenly get powerful, the song gathers some good energy. But, that is the only point you feel that it was worth the wait.

 

3.When It’s All Over

The beginning? It’s different, but weird enough. It would be an entire prose, if were not for the piece of tune in Keys’ voice. The beat seems to go its way and the vocals take the high road, entirely on a different terrain. But, even in the midst of all the gaps and crevasses, Keys’ voice and style do have a charm, which makes you listen to the track at least once, entirely.

 

4.Listen To Your Heart

The start reminds you of night life along the highway, without any reason. It’s more like leading you into a specific trance. It is an unexplainable feeling and you seem to be gliding into a whole new life, which you knew was always there, but could not get into. It’s like meeting new people and making deals. Keys’ voice is the biggest reason for this mood, which when coupled with the instrumental, cook up a pretty good track at the end of the day.

 

5.New Day

The sheer zeal of the song is its best attribute. The enthusiasm which sets in, just by the drum rolls in the beginning.  The entire relishes in power and that makes the song, a great treat to listen to. Keys has changed her style very much for the song, in comparison to the previous songs. It is a great track!

 

6.Girl on Fire(Inferno Version)

Suits the name right. The title track, this is clearly blazing with rigidity. The beat is so powerful, that it maintains the groove all along the track. But, the tune isn’t at all what you expect for such a beat. That is in fact, the beauty of it. It resembles the style of the famous ‘We Are Young’ a bit, but that doesn’t in any way destroy the shine of the track. This is a great dance track!

 

7.Fire We Make(Alicia Keys & Maxwell)

After the enthusiasm and the power prowess, we come down to a soft music again. This feels like a high-class restaurant song, which maintains the feel of the tune throughout. Many valentines might be born in such an atmosphere. It’s pretty well sung, but on the whole, it just crosses the boundary of average and stagnates there. Still, commendable rendition.

 

8.Tears Always Win

Is it kiddish? It feels so, in the beginning. But, then the track goes to a whole new level. With medium, but powerful beats interlaced between crisp and timed vocals, is a huge attraction of the track. With such a great mix, this track might be arguably the best in the album.

 

9.Not Even The King

You feel that awkwardness of lyrics being stuffed in at many places. It might have been done for an effect, but it doesn’t feel that comfortable to listen to it continuously. The instrumental, which is mostly just the piano, has been well used. But, the vocals should have been better organized, which would have made it a much better track. The story-telling style would have had much more impact then.

 

10.That’s When I Knew

Average. The song has been made nicely, with good guitar work and vocals, but it is the same story all over again. There is nothing new in the song, other than maybe, the background beats, which also resemble previous tracks to an extent. Still, a good track to listen to, which would not get you bored, except the high pitch portion towards the end.

 

11.Limitedless

The name is weird, not being an actual English word, although it looks like it. The vocals seem to rush through the song. Although fast-paced, it is good to an extent, until, you start to feel you need a break from the non-stop vocals. The beat as usual, is great and overshadows the vocals enabling you to listen specifically to the beats and ignore the vocals.

 12.One Thing

It’s slow and alluring. Night-time friends’ circle song, is what it is. It is a different kind of use of instrumentals for such a song, although you cannot clearly explain it. The vocals are great, with good modulations and bringing in the huskiness, where required. The monotonous nature of the track, seems to be a bit into the boredom , into the track, but that is not a grave issue at all.

 13.101

The silent kind.But, not quite.It again, brings in a trance, but this time, primarily with the vocals. The trance is unclear, but what is sure is that it is not the usual kind of feel, which the track imparts. It is more like a slow journey through intricacies, witnessing everything completely within its own time frame and moving along. The track takes a massive turn in the second half, bombarded with beats and power, which is quite in contrast to the first half.  It’s great!

 

The entire album is a sequence of ups and downs throughout. Some songs are very well made, while appeal loses out on others really fast. But, on the whole, what stand out all along are the instruments, and particularly, the beats. They impart the kind of impetus which the song needs, and many a times, it is just the beat which takes the track forward. On the whole, this I a good album with a taste of difference studded in it.

 

Picks From the Album : New Day, Girl on Fire(Inferno Version), Tears Always Win

Verdict : Good. Stylish.Different.

Album ★★★★★★★★☆☆