The Element of Freedom

( 41 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Don't mistake the presence of Jay-Z and Beyoncé on Alicia Keys' fourth album as evidence that the singer/songwriter is burrowing into modern R&B -- take it instead as evidence of the rarefied company Keys keeps, her status as a superstar so solidified that the only cameos possible are R&B/hip-hop elite. Superstars are often given leeway to do anything they want, and so it is on The Element of Freedom, where Keys dials back the outward expansion of As I Am and turns inward, creating a clean, small-scale collection of ballads and Prince-inspired pop. Always apparent on Alicia's albums, that Prince influence is underscored by how she's swapped the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Don't mistake the presence of Jay-Z and Beyoncé on Alicia Keys' fourth album as evidence that the singer/songwriter is burrowing into modern R&B -- take it instead as evidence of the rarefied company Keys keeps, her status as a superstar so solidified that the only cameos possible are R&B/hip-hop elite. Superstars are often given leeway to do anything they want, and so it is on The Element of Freedom, where Keys dials back the outward expansion of As I Am and turns inward, creating a clean, small-scale collection of ballads and Prince-inspired pop. Always apparent on Alicia's albums, that Prince influence is underscored by how she's swapped the retro-soul instrumentation of her earliest music for electronics, but she's retained the warmth, the throwback sensibility and, especially, a sense of reserve, never getting too heated or gauche. This does mean the Prince elements feel more NPG than Revolution, but Keys trademark always has been an easy elegance. On The Element of Freedom, that elegance is so easy it borders on the sleepy, with Keys' understatement undercutting livelier numbers -- chief among them the bubbly Beyoncé duet "Put It in a Love Song "-- so they play as ballads. This isn't a complaint so much as a characteristic: her voice may crack on "Love Is My Disease," but Keys never gets gritty, she remains reserved, never letting her singing or arrangements obscure the melodies or the classy veneer of the entire proceedings. All this determined detachment keeps The Element of Freedom from packing a primal, passionate punch, but there is charm in Alicia's enveloping, quiet cool: she may never break a sweat, but she knows how to sustain a sultry, not necessarily sexy, mood, and she does so here quite fetchingly.
Entertainment Weekly - Leah Greenblatt
What Keys' often-banal lyrics lack, her quicksilver voice carries: bluesy and subterranean on the atmospheric opener, ''Love Is Blind''; pure honeyed uplift on ''Wait 'Til You See My Smile'' and ''That's How Strong My Love Is''; ragged with longing on ''Love Is My Disease,'' a stirring semisequel to her '07 smash ''No One.'' [A-]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/15/2009
  • Label: J-Records
  • UPC: 886974657125
  • Catalog Number: 746571

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Alicia Keys Primary Artist, Synthesizer, Piano, Keyboards, Vocals, Background Vocals, Moog Synthesizer, fender rhodes, Wurlitzer, Moog Bass, Hammond B3
Paul Pesco Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Carlos Alomar Electric Guitar
Roger Hambrick Choir Director
Conrad Robinson Choir Director
John Jubu Smith Electric Guitar
Steve Wolf Drums
Steve Mostyn Piano, Bass Guitar, Moog Bass
Ron Haney Electric Guitar
Jeff Bhasker Synthesizer, Keyboards
Toby Gad Guitar, Keyboards
Davide Rossi Strings, Violin, Cello, Viola
Noah Shebib Keyboards
Jeff Gitelman Electric Guitar
Billy Kraven Background Vocals
Al Shux Keyboards
Technical Credits
Bert Keyes Composer
Conrad Robinson Management
Sylvia Robinson Composer
Shawn Carter Composer
Ann Mincieli Engineer
Swizz Beatz Producer, drum programming
Kerry Brothers Composer, Producer, Executive Producer, drum programming
Peter Edge Executive Producer
Steve Mostyn Composer
Alicia Keys Composer, Producer, Executive Producer, Concept
Kasseem Dean Composer
Patrick "Plain Pat" Reynolds Composer, drum programming
Angela Hunte Composer
Miki Tsutsumi Engineer
Jeff Bhasker Composer, Producer, drum programming
Toby Gad Composer, Producer, Engineer
Jeanine McLean Griffin Management
Jeff Robinson Executive Producer, Management
Davide Rossi String Arrangements
Noah Shebib Composer, Producer, Engineer, drum programming
Dave Kutch Mastering
Stuart White Engineer
Al Shuckburgh Composer
Melini Smith Composer
Janeït Sewell-Ulepic Composer
Al Shux Programming, Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 41 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(29)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Alicia Keys is on fire again

    I love "Unthinkable (I'm Ready)" and "Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart". I love the emotional element in her songs on this CD. It reminds somewhat me of some of Mary J. Blige's material. It's a beautiful work of art! Four stars.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Love this CD!

    I can honestly say that I love every song on this album and that is really hard to find in a CD. I had this CD in my car and I let my boyfriend borrow it to drive his friends to a bachelor party in Atlantic City and he told me the groom-to-be rocked out to the CD playing it over and over with one of the songs becoming his weekend anthem. The same guy was over watching basketball with my boyfriend and he asked if he could borrow it for his weekend golf trip. That's how good this CD is - grown men are asking to borrow it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Alicia Keys The Element of Freedom

    When i bought this album, it was because i loved 'Empire State of Mind part 2 Broken Down' but as soon as i listened to the rest of the album i found myself enjoying all the beautiful,relaxing ballads,Alicia's voice is one of a kind and i feel that her voice is wonderful and full of soul.I would definitely recommend it to everyone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Her best CD yet!!!

    I have every Alicia Keys CD. They are all great but this is her best CD yet. My favorite tracks are Doesn't Mean Anything, Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart, Wait Till You See My Smile, That's How Strong My Love Is, Un-Thinkable (I'm Ready), Like the Sea, and This Bed. The only song I don't like is Put it In A Love Song because I'm not a Beyonce fan. Get this CD!!!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    That girl can sing & play!

    What a pleasure to be entertained by someone who can both sing well & play beautifully! On Alicia Keys' latest CD, The Element of Freedom, she definitely saves the best for last on Track 14 entitled Empire State of Mind. This song immediately transports the listener to New York City as you feel the energy swell just like it really does in the Big Apple. More than anything else though, this song inspires you to make all your dreams come true. Other great numbers on this CD include Love is Blind, Un-Thinkable (I'm Ready) & Distance and Time. Next time you're ready to sit down,unwind & be swept away, you owe it to yourself to give Alicia's newest CD a listen.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Element of Freedom

    This is my all time favorit artist. I have been following her progress ever since her broke out CD. This woman is very talented and wish her well.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent Album.

    Alicia went deep soul with this album producing some great hits.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Some of her best yet!

    Alicia Keys is such an innovative artist. Every new album pushes her to a new level.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Alicia Keys once again, awesome!

    Love her music!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome Alicia

    OMG!!! This CD is beyond amazing. I'm just stunned at how good it is. And it's good in such an unexpected way. She takes you to a different place.
    When I went to purchase the cd at B&N the sales rep told me that she'd been hearing that it's an AMAZING cd and I was like really because I hadn't really heard much about it at all. OH MY GAWD! She just blew me away with this one.I sincerely hope she gets all of the accolades & awards because she is so very deserving with this outing.
    Well done Miss!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Alicia is the best

    not just beautiful but talented too. not to mention kind and REAL. another great album

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Great new CD!

    If you like Alicia Keys this is a great new CD! The CD gets better the more you listen to it. The track with Beyonce is guaranteed to be a radio hit!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Swizz left his mark

    Gotta love the sample of the whip cracking by Swizz Beatz on Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart to remind Alicia of her place.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The Element of Freedom

    Alicia Keys took listeners on a musical journey with her creativity, expression and growth in The Element of Freedom. I love this album! Her music is so pure and heartfelt. Alicia Keys continues to make progress so gracefully throughout each album.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Amazing And Beautiful

    She By Far Outdid Herself. Alicia Keys Is Amazing! And This Album Proves It

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews