Alicia Keys delivers two albums for the price of one (This review features the deluxe version of the album).
This is an instrumental that I listened to twice.
I will always love an Alicia Keys piano moment and this song is a great example of why. It is a beautiful interlude that leads perfectly into the next half of the album.
4. Paper Flowers (Original) (feat. Brandi Carlile)
Alicia Keys’ vocals in “Paper Flowers” are my favorite.
Listening to Brandi Carlile and Alicia Keys harmonize is like listening to church bells echoing on a summer evening. The calm washes over you as you listen to them remind you to stay in the moment.
3. LALA (Unlocked) (feat. Swae Lee)
“Lala” is a light-hearted good time.
From the lyrics to the melody, there is no weight to this song. “Lala” will have you feeling as light as a feather and it is such a good time.
2. Plentiful (Original) (feat. Pusha T)
A perfect opener to the album.
“Plentiful” switches from piano to a more classic Pusha T sound, setting us up perfectly for how the album sounds as you go from the Originals to the Unlocked.
“Daffodils” made me feel as warm as spring.
“Daffodils” is a hopeful song about better days finally coming. The song is warm and fuzzy and everything I expect from Alicia Keys. I love this song with my whole being.
SONG BY SONG RATING
1. Plentiful (Original) (feat. Pusha T) (4/5)
2. Skydive (Original) (4/5)
3. Best of Me (Original) (3/5)
4. Dead End Road (Original) (3/5)
5. Is It Insane (Original) (4/5)
6. Billions (Original) (3/5)
7. Love When You Call My (Original) (3/5)
8. Only You (Original) (3/5)
9. Daffodils (Original) (4/5)
10. Old Memories (Original) (3/5)
11. Nat King Cole (Original) (4/5)
12. Paper Flowers (Original) (feat Brandi Carlile) (4/5)
13. Like Water (Original) (4/5)
*14. Stay (4/5)
*15. In Common – Black Coffee Remix (4/5)
1. KEYS (4/5)
2. Only You (unlocked) (3/5)
3. Skydive (unlocked) (4/5)
4. Best of Me (unlocked) (4/5)
5. LALA (unlocked) (feat. Swae Lee) (4/5)
6. Nat King Cole (unlocked) (feat. Lil Wayne) (4/5)
7. Is It Insane (unlocked) (4/5)
8. Come For Me (unlocked) (feat Khalid and Lucky Days) (3/5)
9. Old Memories (unlocked) (3/5)
10. Dead End Road (unlocked) (4/5)
11. Love When You Call My Name (unlocked) (4/5)
12. Daffodils (unlocked) (3/5)
13. Billions (unlocked) (3/5)
*14. Trillions (3.5/5)
*15. In Common (Kaskade Radio Mix) (4/5)
*Indicates track from deluxe version.
Alicia Keys knew that she was going to release a remix version of KEYS, so she saved herself the trouble and released the original and the remixes all at once, effectively splitting the album into originals and unlocked songs.
I don’t think the structure of this album is a bad choice; I don’t think it is a great one either. There are no bad songs on KEYS, but it is a hella long album that feels like listening to the same album on repeat by track seventeen. Alicia did throw in a couple of Unlocked songs that are not from this album and that helped break up that feeling of repetition, but it was definitely still there.
But are the remixes good? Yeah, they are good! A couple of them are even better than the originals, in my opinion. My problem with the remixes is that they break up the continuity of the album. When you put two albums together, you’re going to have two different sounds. The vibe of the Unlocked songs are entirely different from the Originals, which isn’t bad but I like my albums to stay in a vibe, even when they are trying new things.
Overall, this album was a good album. Even though the album didn’t have great continuity, the individual songs were still great. If you’re an Alicia Keys fan then KEYS needs to be your next listen.