mon 22/07/2024

CD: Alicia Keys - Here | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Alicia Keys - Here

CD: Alicia Keys - Here

'Here' is a prayer to justice in unity, and it couldn’t have come at a better time

Alicia Keys is here, without the Instagram effect

When the world seems to be so politically off-kilter, fracturing before our eyes into a typhoon of misogyny and racism, Alicia Keys is singing out with a defiant voice, with positive songs about society and, in particular, women.

Keys’ music is interspersed with powerful spoken word poetry that demands a connection with her audience: “I'm the dramatic static before the song begins, I'm the erratic energy that gets in your skin, And if you don't let me in, I'm the shot in the air when the party ends.” It’s inspiring and compelling, and leads you in to be “here”, in her moment.

There is strength in the collective message here

A grittier, more R&B zazz can be found in songs like “She Don’t Really Care” and “Blended Family”, while others, like “Illusion of Bliss”, “Pawn It All” and “More Than We Know”, are infused with a nostalgic 70s soul vibe. The acoustic guitar and solo power of “Kill Your Mama” feels real and raw. This strength in Keys' sound is new and carefree.

Here ia an intimate, personal album drawing on stories of women – mothers, addicts, teachers, lovers – of all sexualities, colours and creeds. It will undoubtedly draw comparison to Beyonce’s Lemonade for its history stories and representation of a modern woman’s musings on race, family, love, society, injustice. There is strength in the collective message here: that women in the music industry can use their voices to re-write the perception of what it means to be a girl today. Here is perhaps less groundbreaking than Lemonade, but it is solid in its message that we can direct our own music, dance to our own beat, leave the Instagram filter behind and fight sexism, inequality and racism. “Holy War” elicits a sense of being able to turn things around, for the better, substituting love and peace for war and unrest.

Parts of “Girl Can’t Be Herself” should be a mantra to young girls everywhere: “What if I don't want to put on all that make up? Who says I must conceal what I'm made of? Maybe all this Maybelline is covering my self-esteem.” It’s inspirational, it’s uplifting, it balances perfectly the heavier, darker songs. Together, these two parts of Keys' album sing out with one almighty battle cry.


Women in the music industry can use their voices to re-write the perception of what it means to be a girl today


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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