Alicia Keys - The Element of Freedom“I am a Superwoman,” Alicia Keys sang on 2007’s As I Am. The Grammy-winning artist intended the song as an inspirational anthem for women the world over, but she could just as easily have been singing about herself. Born to a black father and an Italian mother who divorced when she was two, Alicia was raised by her mum and grew up in a one-bedroom apartment in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. The singer-pianist’s success as a musical superstar is a classic rags-to-riches story.

The classically trained beauty stunned the music world in 2001 with her gospel-fueled hit single “Fallin’.” Since then, Alicia has been consistently hailed as an innovator, mixing jazz, r&b, hip-hop and classical music: Frederic Chopin meets Aretha Franklin. Already, she’s had three number one albums, won 12 Grammy Awards and has been name-checked in a Bob Dylan song. Not bad for a 28-year-old.

Now, with her fourth studio album, The Element of Freedom, Alicia once again proves herself well ahead of her peers. Rich in classical piano riffs and deeply soulful vocals, her superb new CD, produced with her boyfriend and longtime collaborator, Kerry “Krucial” Brothers, excels in sheer sophistication. Songs like “Doesn’t Mean Anything” and “Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart” reveal a convincing vulnerability, while others such as the dark “Love is Blind” express an edgier strength. Beyoncé duets on the deliciously funky “Put It in a Love Song” and Canadian rapper Drake joins her on the wonderfully sexy “Un-thinkable (I’m Ready). Super woman, indeed.

December 2009

 


Search Blogs

Popular Tags

The Killers Ugly Ducklings Adam Lambert Canadian hip hop Philip Sayce David Wiffen Live The Beach Boys Noel Gallagher Barenaked Ladies country music T-Bone Burnett Natalie MacMaster Oscar Peterson Buffy Sainte-Marie Mark Ronson The Bee Gees Bob Dylan Kylie Minogue Too Much Too Soon Queen Latifah Canadian jazz Diana Krall Celtic music Nate Ruess Bryan Adams Colin James electronic dance music Toronto reggae Hilary Duff Florence Welch Simply Red Grammy Awards Donny Osmond fun. Cuban music The Mavericks American Idol Reba McEntire Jesse Cook Billy Bryans Pokey LaFarge Florence and the Machine operatic pop Ringo Starr Colin Meloy Ella Henderson Nashville TV series Brandon Flowers Leonard Cohen Carolina Chocolate Drops Buena Vista Social Club movie soundtrack Donnell Leahy The Parachute Club Drake Raul Malo 1980s music Olivia Newton-John Adrian Miller Indigo Girls Reviews Ian Tyson Blog Rude Boy on the Bus hip hop Kelly Clarkson obituaries Madonna 20th Century Rebels Joe Hall & the Continental Drift new tag Fifty Shades of Grey David Duchovny Mumford & Sons FFS Meghan Trainor The Beatles Paul Quarrington Sting Chilina Kennedy Yorkville Lorraine Segato James Taylor Nicki Minaj TV series Bob Nolan Mary J. Blige Richard Thompson Kevin Drew Mich Hucknall Toronto ska Giorgio Moroder Tom Cochrane disco Dean Brody Rhiannon Giddens Fifth Harmony fiddle The Canadian Tenors Bessie Smith The Decemberists Robin Gibb Rumer Ed Robertson Jamie Foxx Porkbelly Futures Kacey Musgraves Quarrington Worthy Carrie Underwood Empire Bruno Mars Mariah Carey flamenco Kevin Hearn Andy Kim Kitty Daisy & Lewis Juno Awards Oasis Hank Snow Canadian country music Don Messer Brian Wilson The Moffats Wilf Carter David Guetta Josh Groban Van Morrison The Silver Dollar Bruce Cockburn The Tenors Shawn Mendes Teen idols Garage rock Jusin Timberlake Bobby Curtola Franz Ferdinand Ciara Sparks 1960s Toronto band Toronto music history Broadway