I previously wrote a blog on Kanye West, wondering what happened to the deep rapper we all fell in love with years ago. I must say I am know wondering the same thing about Alicia Keys. I thought she had escaped the transformation (when an artist transforms from an deep, introspective musician to solely an entertainer) that so many artists go through. I remember when we had no idea what Alicia Keys skin looked like besides what was exposed on her face. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with being sexy or showing off the hard work you put into your body, however her change in style is very telling.
The same way Kanye went from wearing back-packs to all black exclusive designers, seems to be the same approach that Ms. Keys is taking. From the second I heard her new single “Girl on fire”, I knew we have probably lost the old “Falling” Alicia Keys. The new single lacks that emotion that she ALWAYS brings to her songs. Who is supposed to relate to a girl on fire? Yes she will say the same thing Beyonce says about all her songs that it is about female empowerment. That maybe true, but I am a female and I didn’t feel empowered, I felt confused as to what this song is about. I find it ironic that the more they (Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, etc) speak of girl power, and the equality of women the more clothes they remove. I can not take you seriously abut women taking control, and not letting men define what is sexy, when you are dancing in underwear. That last statement might apply more to her counterparts than to Alicia, but just wait. The funny thing is I saw Alicia as more powerful when she was fully dressed sitting behind a piano, but that’s just me.
I am sure many will argue, that it is about evolution, and that artists can not and should not stay in a box. I can see that point, but what I am having a hard time understanding is why does evolution and shallow music go hand in hand? Who do we have left for soul, Adele? And I mean that not as sarcasm, but rather posing it as a serious question. My ending point I guess would be, yes you can have a party record or a dance smash Alicia, but does that have to involve abandoning the core of your music, which used to give me goosebumps.
ON a side-note: More relative to this specific performance, were the festivities not held in Houston? Then why would you sing a New York anthem? Solely just because of my boyfriend I watched the super bowl. Now this is of course after the whole Beyonce lip-syncing controversy, so everyone would be singing live. Jennifer Hudson KILLED it, and I couldn’t wait for Alicia because I knew she was going to wow me with the national anthem. And well…..she didn’t. I never heard her sound like that before I felt she was off, and I noticed the same thing with this performance. Has Beyonce forced everyone to remove the veil, and now must sing live? Was she not singing live before because she sounds different to me?