Kamilah Taylor
Amazon has Alicia Key's The Element of Freedom on sale for $5 so I finally got around to purchasing it. I admit before I wasn't super excited about it, but I've bought all of her albums so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I was pleasantly surprised. For instance, I'd watched the video for Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart but a year later now that I've listened to it on the album, I actually like it more. I've totally been in that place before and perhaps that's part of the appeal of the song. In retrospect I was probably distracted by the whole Hancock/Rogue from X-Men/typical lonely super hero storyline in the video. (Check it out at the end of the post and tell me if you agree with the Hancock analogy!) There's something very plaintive about the refrain, "Tonight, I'm gonna find a way to make it without you". Sometimes when you've lost someone, whether due to a break up or moving or death, the hurt is so bad that you can only take things one day at a time. This I understand.

The album opens with "And the day came when the risk it took to remain tightly closed in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom. This is the element of freedom." I actually tried to live by this philosophy this year, particularly since my last birthday, and this will be my resolution for 2011. All the same, I missed her traditional classical opening to her album, though this does go with her theme of moving on and change.

I find it interesting that as time as gone on, Alicia Keys has been experimenting more with her Jamaican connection (her father); Love Is My Disease most definitely has a Jamaican bass line.

I miss the soul-oriented Alicia Keys. At the same time, I really enjoyed this album. It's not a brilliant album, but it's a good album. I also suspect that this album has really been affected by her personal life, as I think she might have been pregnant while working on this. This is very much an album about moving on with your life and finding yourself. It's about "the element of freedom". Because I'm in that place in my life, I perhaps enjoyed the album more than I would have otherwise.

Though she's switched styles up for this album, she still has the piano/classical music undercurrent that you found in her previous albums.  I really liked that she sampled Arabesque No. 1 by Claude Debussy in Like The Sea, one of my faves to both play and listen to.

Hands down my favorite song from the album is Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart.

On a side note, I'm kinda sad that while this album was actually on eMusic because of their expansion, it was cheaper on Amazon. I'm not sure how much longer I'll stay on eMusic at this rate.

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2 Responses
  1. Kyoudai Says:

    Hmmm. I might actually check her album out now. Nice write up



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