Alicia Keys Here Album Is Feminine, Black, Unabashed and Unapologetic
Here is the sixth studio album from Alicia Keys. The project’s rawness is inspirational, honest and offers a relenting force that previous releases by the artist have not been able to induce. In a recent USA Today article, Alicia commented that “it really is the first time in my life that I’m 1,000% here in my skin, in the world, in my personal experience within this world.” And that is immediately apparent with Here‘s opener, “The Gospel,” where Keys waxes poetry on surviving the severe and vicious realities of the world. The song echoes similar production offered on “Karma” from Songs in A Minor.
Here presents Keys as a declarative prophetess exploring subjects such as genetics on “Kill Your Mama,” the consequences of selling yourself in the 90’s vibe of “She Don’t Really Care,” and the infectious sensuality that accompanies love with “In Common,” whose tropical subtleties are nuanced from what fans and critics alike have come to expect from the contralto voice.
The main theme underlying Here is empowerment – feminine, Black, unabashed and unapologetic. On “Girl Can’t Be Herself,” Alicia sweetly paints an impassioned picture of being oneself and accepting the purity of beauty minus the makeup, and losing the faces that a lot of us wear.
She later takes a stand on fear and hate with the subdued “Holy War,” where her voice tickles against guitar riffs, snaps and synths amidst a unity message. It is a potent demonstration of why she is often referred to as the Princess of Soul, with the vintage soul that creeps beneath the melody.
Those expecting love ballads and a tender approach will find themselves disappointed with Here. Yet, Keys’ musicianship is on full display with a more personal bent. The song composition arsenal found within Here undeniably makes it one of her best projects to date.
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