IoS album review: Alicia Keys, Girl on Fire (RCA)


Keys doesn’t do “cryptic”. Girl on Fire is about fresh beginnings, hence tracks called “New Day” and “Brand New Me”, and, at one cringeworthy point, the voice of her baby.

Her fifth studio album is dominated by navel-gazing auto-therapy sessions. At times, it does perk up: see the title track or, best of all, “Tears Always Win”: vintage in sound, and vintage Keys, Girl on Fire has “quality” in spades. What it lacks, ironically, is fire.