Girl On Fire (LP)


Alicia Keys

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Amoeba Review

11/26/2012

“It’s been a while/I’m not who I was before” Alicia Keys sings at the outset of her new album, Girl on Fire. As if to ease fans into the looser, poppier version of Alicia Keys, now a wife and a mother, Keys sings this line amid her fine piano playing, something which has always served as a signpost for Keys’ originality amid her R&B and pop peers. So we have two versions of Keys here, the soul songstress and the pop chanteuse. The pop tracks mostly stay decidedly tasteful, as on the cool electro-jazz of “Listen to Your Heart.” This makes the inclusion mid-album of the hip-hop heaving “New Day” and “Girl on Fire,” which features Nicki Minaj spitting verse over Keys’ stately melody and a particularly hard-hitting beat, both strange and exhilarating. When the two sides of Keys sound meld, as on the laid-back jam “When It’s All Over,” it results in the album’s best tracks. And just try to resist her putting her son talking at the end of the track — just try! Ultimately Keys remains a force because she refuses to be boxed in, not relegating herself to adult contemporary R&B even while entering motherhood. Whether or not she can compete with Rihanna, which she seems to attempt with the album’s more forceful tracks, remains to be seen, but Keys’ songwriting and performing chops make Girl on Fire consistently engaging even as it struggles for cohesion.



Track Listing



Disc 1 Titles
Artist
Length
1.
De Novo Adagio (Intro)
Alicia Keys 01:19
2.
Brand New Me
Alicia Keys 03:53
3.
When It's All Over
Alicia Keys 04:34
4.
Listen to Your Heart
Alicia Keys 03:46
5.
New Day
Alicia Keys 04:02
6.
Girl on Fire (Inferno Version)
Alicia Keys , Nicki Minaj 04:30
7.
Fire We Make
Alicia Keys , Maxwell 05:21
8.
Tears Always Win
Alicia Keys 03:59
9.
Not Even the King
Alicia Keys 03:07
10.
That's When I Knew
Alicia Keys 04:05
11.
Limitedless
Alicia Keys 03:57
12.
One Thing
Alicia Keys 04:08
13.
101
Alicia Keys 06:27

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