Alicia Keys arrived on the music scene with a certain amount of weight and expectation. She”d been dropped by Columbia and Arista and picked up Clive Davis”s then-nascent J Records. For those who were there for her unveiling at Davis”s pre-Grammy party in the early 2000s, he introduced her with so much expectation and gravitas (as only Davis can) that it seemed like the fate of the music world rested on her slender shoulders. It”s as if she has to be Aretha Franklin, Carole King and Stevie Wonder all rolled into one.
“Freedom” could use a few more up-tempo tracks, but Keys shows with this set that for her- and for most of us- love makes the world go round or brings it to a complete halt.