Alicia Keys - Alicia

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Alicia Keys spent the first five albums of her career as a sleekly sophisticated singer-songwriter and pianist, crafting anthemic R&B that was often bold but just as often bland. After releasing 2012’s Girl on Fire she grew tired of such perfection, stopped wearing make-up and released Here a raw, unrefined album filled with nervous jazz-R&B-hop and lyrics that looked into the topicality of the environment, poverty and addiction. It wasn’t exactly Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On but it was as close as Keys had come to standing outside the shadows of silken soul so to see the cracked, funky mess below.

Alicia goes further, freakier, funkier, quieter and jazzier down that gritty path, with experiments in subtly melodic soul and impressionistic lyrics whose emotions go beyond unsettled romance. Rather than rely on musical tropes of her past, Alicia touches on the sonic frippery of textured sequencers, ambient sound and electro, all while maintaining her usual McCoy Tyner-meets-Laura Nyro-like feel for the piano.

This new album features the singles "Show Me Love", "Time Machine", and "Love Looks Better".

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