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The Element of Freedom Album

The fourth studio album by American recording artist Alicia Keys.

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This album isn't the best but she makes you "FEEL" ……yeap …..sometimes life really is that simple.

  • Jan 8, 2010
Rating:
+4

 After hearing this album a couple of times you can determine a balance of vulnerability, strength, and love captured throughout the progression of Key’s fourth album. This was written during a time of intense personal struggle for the New York City songstress, and her pain is evident throughout Freedom. Almost completely lacking in some of the more upbeat cuts that buoyed her last album As I Am (Teenage Love Affair for example), Freedom is often little more than Keys, a piano, some minimal backing and her extraordinary voice, making the album the least immediately accessible of her career. This is an album that does not immediately grab you. Instead, it requires some patience, demands the listener put in some work too, but those who are willing to follow Keys’ will find their effort well rewarded.

1. The Element of Freedom (Intro)

Alicia Keys does spoken word for the opening of her album.

 

2. Love Is Blind

Sometimes you can see the effects of loves strong hold. “Love is Blind” is the opening track that sets the bar for a soulful, powerful and lyrical album. Alicia harmonizes with background vocals and bass driven drums. Great way to start off an album.

 

3. Doesn’t Mean Anything

“Doesn’t Mean Anything” is the 1st single of off The Elements of Freedom. This track tells the tale of realizing that all your dreams mean nothing without anyone to share it with. Classic A. Keys is written all over this track.

 

4. Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart

You have to let the pass go and move on with you life. “Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart” is a smooth mid-tempo track with drums and electric keyboards. The drums provide the foundation of an edgy and sultry joint.

 

5. Wait Til They See My Smile

Overcome sadness and judgment with a smile. “Wait Til They See My Smile” is a song about perseverance. The hook sounds like a sample of the Beach Boys “Kokomo”. It’s probably my least favorite track on the album.

 

6. That’s How Strong My love Is

Standing strong through the motions of love. “That’s How Strong My love Is” is beautiful song that follows the cohesive flow of the piano lined album

 

7. Unthinkable (I’m Ready) Featuring Drake

Unthinkable is the sexiest and most sensual song on the Elements of Freedom. Canadian rapper, Drake provided background vocals on the track and brings a masculine quality to the track. A. Key’s sultry intro sets the foundation for the best song on the album.

 

8. Love Is My Disease

Have you ever been in love so much that you can’t act right without them? “Love Is My Disease” is about missing the company of that spell someone to the point where it makes you sick. The track has a Caribbean inspired flare that creates a distinctly different sound.

 

9. Like The Sea

Love can wrap you up and swallow you like a tidal wave that’s too strong. “Like The Sea” is a song of metaphorical brilliance that captures the heavy emotions of love.

 

10. Put It In A Love Song (Featuring Beyonce)

“What up B? What up AAAAA?”

Two of American R&B’s most talented women team up to do a collaboration that I consider less than stellar. “Put It In A Love Song” is like a spinoff of Beyonce’s “Check Up On It” without the ghetto bass line.  I think the track was a bit rushed and they just wanted to join forces. Sometimes you need to balance out sound. Female/ Male and R&B/ Hip Hop collaborations usual work the best.

 

11. This Bed

Have you ever slept in a lonely bed by yourself? “This Bed” is a mid-tempo track that talks about wishing someone were here in bed sleeping next to you. A playful and sensual track that‘s smooth to groove to.

 

12. Distance And Time

For all those Lovers in LDR (Long Distance Relationships) that wish they were next to that special someone. “Distance and Time” is a soft and touching track that shows A. Key’s vulnerable side. This is one of those songs that will make you cry if you’re in the same situation.

 

13. How It Feels To Fly

Sometimes you have to let go of the materialistic and superficial things and just fly. “How It Feels To Fly” is a beautiful and motivational song that brings strength and hope to the album. A good listen to lift your spirit and give you an optimistic view on life.

 

14. Empire State of Mind (Part II) Featuring Jay-Z

An Ode to New York

Empire State of Mind (Part II) is the R&B version of Jay-Z’s hit “Empire State of Mind”. A. Keys vocals are amazing on this song and it makes you feel like you should be from New York.  Same hook but the chorus is provided by Alicia’s vocals. Very inspiring way to end a powerful album!

 

“The Element of Freedom” is an album for lovers and true romantics at heart. Piano keys fill the entire album with A. Keys signature style and grace. You may need to be in love or a place of true happiness to appreciate this album. “Element of Freedom” is lyrically romantic and full of metaphorical depth. I don’t know what Swizz Beats did to A. Keys but she is open and free of it all. While there are a few misfires ("Put It In a Love Song" comes to mind), these flaws are rendered null and void due to the excellence of songs like "UnThinkable" and "Like The Sea". With Freedom, Alicia Keys takes listeners on a lush journey, one that showcases her consistency as well as a foundation of strength, vulnerability and ultimately, hope.

 

The tracks that stood out to me are:
Love Is Blind

Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart

Unthinkable (I’m Ready)

Like The Sea

Empire State of Mind (Part II)


 
This album isn't the best but she makes you feel ……yeap …..sometimes life really is that simple.

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January 09, 2010
oh my...milady has been real busy! nice one.
January 11, 2010
I'm trying to catch up with you guys the best that I can ;-)
 
January 09, 2010
Thanks Devora, I do love this album even though it's not my favorite. So far "Diary" tops it off for me. This album is good because it's Alicia Keys expressing her personal trials and tribulations while growing into her own skin. Not everyone can express their life's ups and downs through songs, but Alicia always sings straight from the heart and you can't help but to respect that.
 
January 09, 2010
Great break down of this album, Jen!  Those tracks that you pointed out stood out to me, too, plus Wait Till They See My Smile :)
 
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Jen-Jay AKA:JJI ()
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About this album

Wiki

The Element of Freedom is the fourth studio album by American recording artist Alicia Keys, released on December 15, 2009, on J Records in the United States. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200--selling 417,000 copies in its first week--her first album to miss the number one spot.

After recording her third studio album, As I Am, Keys began to "find the way to totally be myself and what that meant; figuring out what choices I wanted to make and not make in order to truly honor myself". She described The Element of Freedom as diverse, but noted that there is a "balance". She explained that "one side is strong and one side is vulnerable", which she pointed to as the theme of the album. The album has a "strong, edgy feel", but is also "intimate and vulnerable and delicate". While on Black Entertainment Television's 106 & Park, she described the album: "The way that the songs progress [on the album] are gonna take you on a natural high. I just want you to feel a sense of freedom, I want you to feel out-of-the-box, feel inspired, You're definitely going to be taken on a trip, I know you're going to be shocked, you're going to hear things that you probably didn't think that I would sound like. It's a journey."

In an interview with Billboard magazine, Keys stated that she "eliminated all of the boundaries and all the limitations, so that you can feel your freedom and express your freedom in every ...
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Artist: Alicia Keys

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