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Dec 12, 2009

Review: Alicia Keys - The Element Of Freedom (Deluxe Edition)

Alicia Keys is releasing her 4th studio album on December 15th. She promised us that this the album is going to be her most personal (doesn’t every artist say that?) and then some may be surprised about the sound. So let’s see if this album is another classic or rather “The Element of Boredom”.

Love Is Blind

This song is totally different to what she’s done before and I love it. She uses her voice in a unusual way but it’s definitely interesting.

Doesn’t Mean Anything

The first single which could easily be a leftover from the “As I Am” era or a recycled “If I Ain’t Got U”. I personally love the song.

Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart

The second single follows right after the first and the sound of this track is great. I especially love the beginning, it’s so hot. Definitely a highlight.

Wait Til You See My Smile

Just beautiful. This song is really empowering when you feel down (Cause you’re stronger and you’re better/and you’re ready for whatever).

That’s How Strong My Love Is

In this song Alicia tells us that “people call her crazy for falling it love with” Swizz. Interestingly, she already announced that in “Love Is Blind”. Everytime the song starts I think of "Tender love". The song is in my opinion rather boring.


Drake delivered the background vocals and I enjoy Alicia’s tone very much but besides that song is just ok.

Love Is My Disease

Was co-written and co-written by Toby Gad (Big Girls Don’t Cry, If I Were A Boy) but it is just an ok song.

Like The Sea

I’m feeling this song.

Put It In A Love Song (feat. Beyoncé)

Even though I Am… a Sasha Fierce Support Representative I am not really too fond of this song. It could have been a bonus track because it doesn’t really flow well. The uptempo song reveals though that both ladies have a great chemistry together and nobody really tries to outshine the other one which is great. However, I really could see Beyoncé and Alicia Keys making a hot ballad together. This is probably what most people expect them to do and maybe that’s why Alicia chose to take the other direction but yeah, it could have been better.

This Bed

Is another highlight to me. Really cute. (This bed is too lonely without you, don’t wanna hold my pillow, I wanna hold you)

Distance and Time

I absolutely ADORE this song. It’s so beautiful. *sighs*

How It Feels How To Fly

Filler. This song does nothing for me.

Empire State Of Mind Part II

When I heard the song for the very first time I was not happy with it. Mainly because I thought that there’s no need to make a part two of an already perfect song. But the more I listen to it the more I love it. I’m now thankful she recorded her own version.

Bonus Tracks

Through It All

Ain’t it funny? Of all songs this is my favorite. I can’t understand why this only destined to be a bonus song.

Praying For Forgiveness

Same goes for this song which was co-written by Linda Perry who penned already “Superwoman”. It’s not as good as “Through It All” but also very nice and could have been included in the regular album.


The DVD contains four live performances (Doesn't Mean Anything, Empire State Of Mind Part II, Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart, No One) and the official music video for "Doesn't Mean Anything". The performances are done in a studio with her band and are nice to watch but not breathtaking.

So first of all let me say “The Element of Freedom” doesn’t have the wow effect that I had when listening to “As I Am”. Nevertheless Alicia delivered a solid album. Her voice sounds raw, I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. You could say she’s transferring all those emotions through her voice or you’ll say she is having the Mariah syndrome and loses her voice. I hope the latter is not the case.

She definitely shows her vulnerable side and you can say it is in fact her personal record.

Summing it up: Not as good as “As I Am” (which was simply fantastic so I didn’t expect her to top it) but still a good effort. Additionally, the album sounds different to her previous ones without losing the typical Alicia Keys’ style.

What do you think? Drop your comments below!


Anonymous said...

Eh..the album is much better than what you are making out to be..I Love it

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