Alicia Keys’ new album shares an important message

“Keys’ new sound is more mature and confident. She uses complex lyrics to create deep visuals and makes the listeners think about what the song means to them.”

Alicia Keys released her seventh studio album, Alicia on Sept. 18.


Alicia Keys released her seventh studio album, “Alicia” on Sept. 18.

On Sept. 18, Alicia Keys released her seventh studio album, “Alicia.” After the four years since “Here” was released, Keys’ new album excites fans worldwide with its seductive sound, rhythm and blues. The moving, emotional lyrics performed by Keys provide just what the world needs right now.

This album demonstrates growth in Keys and a new side of the soulful artist. Keys’ first song, “Fallin’,” was released in 2001, featuring strong riffs and simple lyrics. Both worked together to create a powerhouse song that has been sung into hairbrushes for almost two decades now. 

Keys’ new sound is more mature and confident. She uses complex lyrics to create deep visuals and makes the listeners think about what the song means to them.

The album features many more layers to the music. Keys explores different musical elements and embraces the synthesized sounds which are becoming popular in modern music. The production and lyrics compliment each other and work together to create a full sound, rather than the one-dimensional rhythm of Keys’s previous works.  

Keys’ lyrics tell a story of hope, perseverance and love throughout the 15-track album. Love for herself, love for a partner and love for the world. 

The third track, “Authors of Forever,” is an inspirational anthem for anyone who needs it. The song reminds the listener that “when there’s light, there must be a shadow,” and that “we’re here to make meanin’, as long as we keep breathin’.” 

The use of “we” instead of “I” brings a feeling of togetherness and makes readers trust Keys even more. Keys understands what people are going through and emphasizes in this song that she is just like the listener. 

“We’re all in this boat together, and sailing towards the future and it’s alright” sings Keys in “Authors of Forever,” exemplifying that we’re all in the world together. 

The song “Underdog,” came out as a single in January of this year, a teaser of the album to come. This song plays an interesting twist to storytelling through lyrics. The story is told in third person, sharing moments as the narrator comes across people always overlooked. The “mother waiting for a check to come,” the “nameless and homeless,” “teachers, students, young doctors, sons on the front line knowing they don’t get to run.” 

It shares the importance of remembering that everyone has a story, and the most overlooked people are sometimes the hardest fighters. 

“Good Job,” the last song on the album has a similar storyline to “Underdog.” This time, the lyrics pay tribute to the essential workers who continued to work throughout COVID-19. It is a reminder to the workers that they are “doin’ a good job,” to not “get too down,” and that “the world needs you now, know that you matter.” 

Keys sends a deep message to all her listeners, reminding them that a simple smile can make things seem okay and gives people the motivation to keep fighting through the day. 

This album was released at the perfect time. Things in the world have begun to seem so hopeless and dark. Between the pandemic, politics, racial injustice and climate change, these problems can be suffocating to some. While music might not offer solutions to these problems, they provide the comfort and inspiration needed to keep fighting, and Keys does this in “Alicia.”