There is no honest doubt about Alicia Keys and her craft of making great songs for all universal music lovers. She has shown that as being the one of the most, if not the most influential female singer/songwriter of this decade. She has shown that ability strongly with each and every album she has made all her own. She has recently shown that strongly as a songwriter for other artists, co-writing Million Dollar Bill for Whitney Houston's I Look To You, which went to #1 on the Billboard Dance and Adult R&B charts, and teaming up with Jay-Z with Empire State Of Mind. Well, she is about to show that well on her own again, with her latest effort. But, the time is herefor Alcia to show her true colors again with her Element Of Freedom.
Alicia Keys' latest album The Element Of Freedom is a mainly strong R&B album, that tries to expand what has shown to be strong from Alicia's songwriting. Most of that is honestly handled well, but there are a few quirks that aren't strong as they could be. There are a few really strong songs here like the simple Doesn't Mean Anything, and the deep and mending Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart, as well as a few surprises here like the simple How It Feels To Fly, and Empire State Of Mind Part II, which showcases a simpler side from what made her collaboration with Jay-Z, into a song stirring simplisticly all her own, and the strong and intimate Distance And Time. There are a few songs though that don't fit the formula well, like her collaboration with Beyonce' on Put It In A Love Song. It is a mixed bag and unfortunately, both of them don't seem to honestly show a whole lot of chemistry together. It feels like Alicia is trying to gather her own bit from a Beyonce'-like single ladies anthem of her own, and that is something she shouldn't honestly try to put a ring on it.
Overall, despite a few faults, The Element Of Freedom is nevertheless a straight-forward and mainly strong set of songs that still shows Alicia Keys isn't just a pretty face, but a strong songwriter whom is expanding her spirits and making strong odes that people will enjoy for generations to come. It also shows a simple ending to a strong decade of hits that a bright star has newly made all her own, and showing that she is definitely the Roberta Flack of the 21st Century. I just hope more great hits keep on coming from Alicia in the next decade to follow.