Alicia Keys, KEYS Review: An experimental double record thwarts its lofty ambitions

At seven years old, Alicia key began practicing the Suzuki method – a Japanese philosophy that teaches music as if it were a mother tongue – to learn classical piano. Another seven years passed and she started playing jazz. At the age of 15, she signed with Columbia Records. These are the defining moments in the story of a singer whose ability to perfectly embody the classics and the modern in one note has won 15 Grammy Awards. KEYS is the newest chapter in the saga – and it’s a long one.

Keys’ eighth studio album hit the hour-and-a-half mark, making it hugely popular with inattentive audiences. However, there is a method that leads to madness. KEYS in fact, is a two for one deal. Its first half includes “Originals”, a collection of piano and vocal tracks. Many of these songs were later remixed – with the consent of co-producer Mike Will Made It – into new versions described as “Unlocked”.

The songs are great, but they are waiting for the rudiment. The concept of an album with a half dedicated to, as Keys put it in TikTok, “relaxed piano vibes” promises no halo. But the original is polished. Sleek, glossy production coats them like a glossy ganache. It wasn’t an indictment, just a surprise. The Originals reaffirms Keys’ connection to the Sixties and Seventies souls, and is closer to jazz than she was before. “Best Of Me” (Original) is a standout movie. It’s a slow-drift record sampled “Cherish the Day” by Sade. Keys swears her love is like the pinnacle of music. Its unlocked sibling gets power with additional electronics. The important thing is, it does so without giving up that feeling of enjoyment and enjoyment.

There are other mysterious moments on KEYS. “Plentiful” opens as a beautiful piano ballad that turns into hip-hop verses delivered powerfully by Pusha T. But despite its high points – many of them are, surprisingly, found. seen in the Unlocked iteration – the album doesn’t leave the same impression in the singer’s previous releases. You will love it, for sure. But you may not remember it.

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/reviews/alicia-keys-album-review-b1973015.html Alicia Keys, KEYS Review: An experimental double record thwarts its lofty ambitions

Emma Bowman

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