American singer songwriter, Alicia Keys is a girl on fire. She is back with her first album for three years with that title.
The 31-year-old’s life has changed in many ways -some dramatic since then. There was her first major tabloid drama which involved her relationship with her husband, producer-rapper Swizz Beatz, and his ex-wife. She is now a mother and Broadway producer and unusually for her on this album she has collaborated with other artists.
“I think the whole album is more lyrical than ever before and I definitely think it is on a deeper level. It’s just more, maybe it’s more accessible, or maybe I’ve given more access to myself. I think the real thing is I’m clearer about who I am, myself and what I feel. And I think probably when I was younger maybe you have more of a sense of wanting to save a part of yourself or hide a part of yourself, or protect a part of yourself or something like that,” she said.
The album’s title song was first unveiled in early September this year. In the United States, “Girl on Fire” peaked at four on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
Critics have called the song, classic Keys at her commercial best and at the core of the album which was released at the start of December is her remarkable voice and simple songwriting. This, her fifth studio album, also showcases her as a maturing performer comfortable with who she is and where she is.
“‘Girl on Fire’ is my joint! ‘Girl on Fire’ is like me standing in the middle of the run, screaming at the top of my lungs, ‘This is me. Here I am. And accept me for who I am.’ I think that’s such a important part of what I’ve gone through and where I’ve arrived, you know. So, I love ‘Girl on Fire’ for that aggressive stance of just being yourself and that’s exactly what being a girl on fire is,” she explained.
“Girl on Fire” is out now and described by one critic as, “a smart album, maintaining the high standards set on her last album The Element of Freedom”.