Alicia Keys-Girl on Fire (Video)

Let’s be clear right from the off: I don’t particularly like this song. I always have time and respect for Alicia’s talent, but this sounds like Bruno Mars got an extra shot of oestrogen in his coffee, and though the video has some nice touches, particularly the colourful contrasts throughout and some good outfitting, it generally remains as unmemorable as the audio.

With that said, the sole reason for posting this is to highlight the transformation Alicia’s undergone in her absence. Her last album, The Element of Freedom, had plenty of pop influence but tempered it with the doses of atmosphere and surliness that give her work an addictive uniqueness, whereas this effort scraps those infusions to rely almost solely on the pop elements. The result is a much more positive and upbeat Alicia Keys, no doubt driven by her now-settled personal life with Swizz and their child, and when you lay out the roadmap of her career (go back and listen to/watch Fallin’ and Girlfriend) it’s a natural and likeable transformation. Even if it means the music is less entertaining.

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