Alicia Keys - The Element of Freedom
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Alicia Keys - The Element of Freedom

Overall Rating Rating 4.9  |  8 reviews  |  Write a review
Today $8.72
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......more
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Artist: Keys, Alicia
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
See Also:
Songs in A Minor, The Diary of Alicia Keys
See Influences:
Sade, Lauryn Hill, Janet Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Brenda Russell (Singer/Songwriter), D'Angelo, Isaac Hayes, Prince, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige, Roberta Flack, Oleta Adams, Erykah Badu, Maxwell (R&B), Jay-Z
See Contemporaries:
Noel Gourdin, India.Arie, Lalah Hathaway, Macy Gray, Syleena Johnson, Rahsaan Patterson, Bilal, Chrisette Michele, Sunshine Anderson, Musiq (Soulchild), Kelly Price, Marsha Ambrosius, Angie Stone, Amy Winehouse, Des'ree, Ledisi, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Toni Braxton, Leela James, Dwele, D'Angelo, Robin Thicke, Jessie Ware, Amel Larrieux
Track Listing:
Disc 1:
  1. 1 Element of Freedom [Intro], The
  2. 2 Love Is Blind
  3. 3 Doesn't Mean Anything
  4. 4 Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart
  5. 5 Wait 'Til They See My Smile
  6. 6 That's How Strong My Love Is
  7. 7 Unthinkable (I'm Ready)
  8. 8 Love Is My Disease
  9. 9 Like the Sea
  10. 10 Put It in a Love Song
  11. 11 This Bed
  12. 12 Distance and Time
  13. 13 How It Feels to Fly
  14. 14 Empire State of Mind, Pt. 2: Broken Down
Contemporary R&B
J Records
Alicia Keys
Number of Discs:
Compact Disc
Studio or Live:
Mono or Stereo:
SPARS Coding:
52 : 55
Guest Artist:
Editorial Reviews:
Rolling Stone (p.56) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "The superb Prince homages, 'Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart' and 'This Bed,' are experiments that pay off big..." Entertainment Weekly (p.81) - "[O]ver four albums she's established herself as an increasingly rare thing in pop music: the class act. It's made her a consistently gratifying artist..." -- Grade: A-
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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 !!!!!!!

    • Would you recommend this to a friend? Yes

    ssdouc from GA, Aug 3, 2010

  • LOVE IT!!!!

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

    • Would you recommend this to a friend? Yes

    tabygato from White Plain, NY, May 7, 2010

  • A+ For Alicia

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

    • Would you recommend this to a friend? Yes

    nhenry from VA, Apr 11, 2010

  • 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!

    • Would you recommend this to a friend? Yes
  • 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

    • Would you recommend this to a friend? Yes

    elizabethjj28 from eatonton, ga, Mar 10, 2010

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