• Record Label: J
  • Release Date: Dec 15, 2009
Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. On The Element of Freedom, the production compresses her voice, making it sound a lot less like her, especially on the ballads.
  2. Jan 14, 2011
    50
    In most of these dozen tracks (not including a ponderous intro regarding the necessity of risk and a slow-jam sequel to Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind") Keys seems uninterested in breaking new ground, snooze-controlling her way through a series of familiar piano-soul platitude.
  3. With so few highlights, an unwieldy 52-minute runtime, and a second half nearly devoid of strong material, Freedom doesn't begin to contend with that release--or indeed, even many of those by Keys's objectively less talented contemporaries.
  4. After so many highlights, the duds feel inconsequential, easily bypassed. Only when Keys panders to Top 40 radio does the album truly stumble, sounding like a hodgepodge of transparent ideas.
  5. But all that queenliness, and the sameness of the tempo, start to wear you down. It's not until the 10th track, "Put It in a Love Song," that the record starts to bristle with a less regal impulse: flirting.
  6. 60
    Her fourth, The Element of Freedom, is full of straightforward pleas for affection that are neither outstanding nor run-of-the-mill.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 69 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 20
  2. Negative: 3 out of 20
  1. Mar 18, 2011
    8
    This album sounds different from everything she's done so far and it seems to be the reason why people either love or hate it. I love it. It'sThis album sounds different from everything she's done so far and it seems to be the reason why people either love or hate it. I love it. It's more pop and electronic than the usual stuff but it's still Alicia Keys. She's trying out something else, let the girl bloom! Full Review »
  2. Sep 28, 2010
    7
    For already fans of her, there is a lot to enjoy here. But for those looking smooth polished tracks like Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart willFor already fans of her, there is a lot to enjoy here. But for those looking smooth polished tracks like Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart will be disappointed. However, her voice and unique style shines all the way through the album as well as she always done. Tracks like Doesn't Mean Anything, Wait Till You See My Smile, and Put It in a Love Song are definitely also highlights of Alicia's great vocals and compositions. Put in a Love Song as a collaboration with Beyonce, is quite disappointing due to the poor lyrics and overall sound that could have been bigger considering how amazing these girls are. But that aside, is still a nice track and an overall really nice album to relax and have a great time. Full Review »
  3. Aug 11, 2010
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. As an album The Element Of Freedom it's not great but has some perfect musics. In my opinion LOVE IS BLIND, TRY SLEEPING WITH A BROKEN HEART and UN-THINKABLE (I'M READY) are perfect songs, that can balance some duds like Love is my disease, Like the sea and This bed. Full Review »