Alicia Keys is finally releasing her “Alicia” album Thursday night at midnight. It has 15 tracks, 7 of them have already been released in some form, so it’s really just 8 new songs.
“Alicia” is four years in the making since Keys’s last album, “Here,” which was a sales disappointment and had no singles. It disappeared as it arrived.
With the new album, at least Alicia had a nice hit with “Underdog,” and got some action of a few of the others. “Perfect Way to Die” should have been treated more seriously upon its release, it should have been the “Living for the City” of this album and time. Maybe it can be revived.
Most of the songs are co-written, although the opener, “Truth Without Love,” is a solo effort. And Alicia has written a song called “Jill Scott,” which features Jill Scott. Alicia is said to have been knocked out by Jill Scott’s Verzuz battle with Erykah Badu and asked Ms. Scott to be on the album. That battle was on May 9th, well after March 20th, the day before “Alicia” was supposed to have been released the first time. Clearly “Alicia” was not ready then or for May 15th. If the pandemic hadn’t arrived, I wonder what the excuse would have been for no album?
Anyway, think of it: Alicia Keys has been around since 2001. I met her the year before that. She was Clive Davis’s first star on his J Records, and had the full force of his team, Peter Edge, et al. driving her to stardom. “Alicia” is only her 7th album in 19 years. She has not been prolific. But she’s been a steady and welcome presence for a generation. Her best song remains “If Ain’t Got You.” Her most popular song is definitely her reworking of “Love on a Two Way Street” into “Empire State of Mind.” Let’s hope “Alicia” is received warmly, and that there are some nice surprises on it.
See you tomorrow night.