It’s fearless, the way she approaches the task of genre-bouncing. She’s not sitting still merely for the sake of not sitting still; she’s not sitting still because she’s an artist who has a very unique and very determined sense of versatility.
We Are King is an album designed to work on the listener as a whole. The LP’s slow-burning atmospherics, vamping introductions and sophisticated song structures unfold elegantly and purposefully over the course of its 60-minute runtime.
The rest is, as mentioned, colorless and tedious, with Blake’s typical lugubriousness added in.
Alicia Keys decided to make something so raw, so honest, so palpable, that it should be all but impossible for soul music lovers to ignore this release.
His first record reveals a felicity with language, a charismatic manner of singing, and a deep understanding of what makes a song work well beyond his years. Each track works on several layers. One can listen to it, make love to it, or just move to the beats.
Daunting and at times exhausting, A Seat at the Table is still an undeniably important work.
His ability to make uptempo soul without losing his ability to invoke a response more typical of downtempo sounds is particularly impressive.