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ALICIA KEYS 2009 CD REVIEW
THE ELEMENT OF FREEDOM (J/SONY)
If you're looking for a brilliant album packed with classics, I'm afraid this isn't it. That's not to say Alicia keys can't turn in some strong, melodic songs and rarely is there a bad cut on offer. Rather, as she matures, Keys is moving towards an older demographic musically. Thus this has the feel of an solid collection of emotive, mood driven music rather than one packed with hit singles. There's a decidedly Prince/'80's feel sound to some of the songs, no more than with my favorite cut, "Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart" which is undercut with some chunky hip-hop beats. Elsewhere, "This Bed" also hints of that influence with it's jumpy staccato drums and falsetto vocals.

More emotive, moody songs are "Wait 'Til You See My Smile", "Un- Thinkable" and the rousing "Love Is My Disease". "Put It In A Love Song" (featuring Beyonce) is another '80's throwback with busy drums and quick fire lyrics while the hit single with Jay-Z, "Empire State Of Mind" is transformed into a rambling piano led, filmic/Broadway sounding study on NYC.

Rating: 7


About the Writer
Jeff Lorez has enjoyed a long and varied career in the music business. As a journalist he has written for a slew of publications and web sites including, Blues & Soul, Billboard, Yahoo.com and the Daily Telegraph and as a music publisher he has been involved in recent chart topping hits by Alexis Jordan and Cher Lloyd.
  

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