Alicia Keys - The Element of Freedom

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Recording information: Conway Studios, LA; Oven Studios, NY; Strawberrybee Studios, NY. Photographer: Yu Tsai . Don't mistake the presence of Jay-Z and Beyonc‚ on Alicia Keys' fourth album as evidence that the singer/songwriter is burrowing into modern...

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ITEM#: 12360505

Recording information: Conway Studios, LA; Oven Studios, NY; Strawberrybee Studios, NY. Photographer: Yu Tsai . Don't mistake the presence of Jay-Z and Beyonc‚ on Alicia Keys' fourth album as evidence that the singer/songwriter is burrowing into modern R&B -- take it instead as evidence of the rarefied company Keys keeps, her status as a superstar so solidified that the only cameos possible are R&B/hip-hop elite. Superstars are often given leeway to do anything they want, and so it is on The Element of Freedom, where Keys dials back the outward expansion of As I Am and turns inward, creating a clean, small-scale collection of ballads and Prince-inspired pop. Always apparent on Alicia's albums, that Prince influence is underscored by how she's swapped the retro-soul instrumentation of her earliest music for electronics, but she's retained the warmth, the throwback sensibility and, especially, a sense of reserve, never getting too heated or gauche. This does mean the Prince elements feel more NPG than Revolution, but Keys trademark always has been an easy elegance. On The Element of Freedom, that elegance is so easy it borders on the sleepy, with Keys' understatement undercutting livelier numbers -- chief among them the bubbly Beyonc‚ duet "Put It in a Love Song" -- so they play as ballads. This isn't a complaint so much as a characteristic: her voice may crack on "Love Is My Disease," but Keys never gets gritty, she remains reserved, never letting her singing or arrangements obscure the melodies or the classy veneer of the entire proceedings. All this determined detachment keeps The Element of Freedom from packing a primal, passionate punch, but there is charm in Alicia's enveloping, quiet cool: she may never break a sweat, but she knows how to sustain a sultry, not necessarily sexy, mood, and she does so here quite fetchingly. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Specs

UPC 886974657125
Runtime 52 min.
Type Performer
Genre R&B
Sub Genre Contemporary R&B
Label J Records
Producer Alicia Keys
Number of Discs 1
Track Listing Disc 1
  • 1. Element of Freedom [Intro], The
  • 2. Love Is Blind
  • 3. Doesn't Mean Anything
  • 4. Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart
  • 5. Wait 'Til They See My Smile
  • 6. That's How Strong My Love Is
  • 7. Unthinkable (I'm Ready)
  • 8. Love Is My Disease
  • 9. Like the Sea
  • 10. Put It in a Love Song
  • 11. This Bed
  • 12. Distance and Time
  • 13. How It Feels to Fly
  • 14. Empire State of Mind, Pt. 2: Broken Down
Format Compact Disc
Spars Coding n/a
Artists Keys, Alicia

Customer Reviews


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  • love it

    I love it !!! I ply it so much !! I have not gotten sick of it yet !!!! I think everyone will be happy !!! I hope she will keep up on singing for us !!!!!!!

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  • LOVE IT!!!!

    Love the CD.... Went to see her in concert as well... Track number 7 is my favorite.

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  • A+ For Alicia

    Great CD all the cuts are well done; I really enjoy New York wish this song were longer.

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  • Great CD from start to finish

    I am very pleased with this CD. It's great from start to finish (which is a rarity these days). My fav's are actually the songs that they don't play on the radio. Go figure!

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  • alicia keys

    i loved the cd..but the packaging was terrible my order was shipped all together except the necklace and all the cd cases were brken or scratched badly

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  • Alicia - Tenacious !

    Thanks Alicia ~ Empire State of Mind (prt.II) . . .Better without JAY-Z . !!

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