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KEYS Image
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 18 Ratings

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  • Summary: Produced with Mike WiLL Made-It, the two-disc release from R&B artist Alicia Keys features piano-based originals and more upbeat versions with drums.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Dec 10, 2021
    80
    There’s a range, ambition, confidence and accomplishment on display.
  2. Dec 10, 2021
    70
    While Keys’ sound is mildly refurbished, the overall sensibility isn’t all that new for her. Keys has been showing off her gift for bridging styles and eras since back when she was a breakout star combining classical piano chops with New York hip-hop and R&B. Unsurprisingly, Originals is the more self-assured of the two sets.
  3. Dec 10, 2021
    70
    A compilation of the most successful tracks from both halves of Keys would have made for a slightly stronger album. As is, though, it serves as a testament to both Keys’s strengths and weaknesses as a singer-songwriter—and her willingness to expand beyond the boundaries of genre constraints.
  4. Dec 13, 2021
    70
    Literate and honest, it doesn’t always connect, yet with 90 minutes of music to explore it’s a project that demands time and patience to truly absorb.
  5. Dec 13, 2021
    60
    There’s enough across both albums to keep fans happy, and that soulful voice is still a thing of wonder, but Keys has a strange hotchpotch feel to it.
  6. Dec 22, 2021
    60
    Disc one is essentially a standard Alicia Keys LP, while the second disc is an album of remixes plus two more new songs. ... The latter half's new songs are two of the album's higher-profile collaborations: a tentative-sounding missed opportunity with Khalid and Lucky Daye, and an intoxicated duet with Swae Lee where Tyrone Davis' coasting 1979 hit "In the Mood" does most of the work.
  7. Dec 10, 2021
    40
    Unlocked is definitely a better album than Originals, but not an amazing album in its own right. Undeniable, sucker-punch songs are still notable by their absence.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 1 out of 8
  1. Dec 10, 2021
    10
    The new double album by Alicia Keys has two versions of most songs--The Originals,
    which use the piano as the primary instrument, and
    The new double album by Alicia Keys has two versions of most songs--The Originals,
    which use the piano as the primary instrument, and Unlocked, which is the
    pop version so them. The production quality of both disc are perfect. The vocal
    color of the album, which has collaborations between various famous rap
    artists make it very lively. As for instrumentals, I favor the Originals
    versions, but the Unlocked version of "Nat King Cole" is the best of the album.

    Overall, this is one of the best (if not the best) album of 2021 and I recommend
    to all music listeners.
    Expand
  2. Dec 10, 2021
    10
    This album proves the master of a musician Alicia Keys is! The album mixes many genres together and creates a world of its own! Skydive is legendary
  3. Dec 12, 2021
    10
    Top notch from Alicia. The piano is in full force on this album, which is when Alicia is at her best. Vocals soar and as you make it to theTop notch from Alicia. The piano is in full force on this album, which is when Alicia is at her best. Vocals soar and as you make it to the unlocked side (which isn't as perfect as the originals side) takes most of the songs to either a new level or gives you a different view. Keys is among your top 3 albums. Expand
  4. Dec 23, 2021
    10
    Keys has a languid feel -- which is perhaps to be expected from an artist who, before she made her debut, was best known for her work onKeys has a languid feel -- which is perhaps to be expected from an artist who, before she made her debut, was best known for her work on soundtracks -- and a loose, easygoing vibe that is, at times, more reminiscent of her occasional collaborator Maxwell than it is of any of the '90s R&B artists who had a hand in shaping her sound. Of course, Keys' profile was considerably higher than Maxwell's by the time she released her debut, and, apart from her production team, Keys also worked with a number of hitmakers on the album -- including, of course, Swizz Beatz and super-producers The Neptunes, but also R. Kelly, Carvin & Ivan, and Jermaine Dupri. Yet, while the most obvious influences aren't that important, because Keys' style isn't that derivative, the album isn't one long ballad, either. Instead, it's a mixture of slow jams, midtempo tunes, and, on "Dead End Road," a nice, slinky groove that finds Keys flirting with hip-hop. The big hit, "Fallin'," and the infectious "A Woman's Worth" both fall into the slow-jam category, as does "Never Felt This Way," but even there, Keys shows that she isn't a one-trick pony, since she brings a breathy sensuality to the songs that is more affecting than the sultry ballads of the time. And, of course, there's also the title track, a compelling, haunting ballad that is as much R&B as it is gospel, since it's about Keys' late father, who died when she was just two years old. Keys' early death-haunted songs, like "A Woman's Worth" and "Diary," were a little too self-consciously dramatic to fit her voice, but "Keys" is an affecting memorial to a parent, and it's a song that encapsulates the strengths of the entire album. Expand
  5. Dec 10, 2021
    10
    Wow. This is by far one her best records and it shows. Not one bad track on this album!
  6. Dec 10, 2021
    8
    melodic, intimate, eclectic, modern, instrumentals and vocals more classy than ever, two sides of an album full of versatility and puremelodic, intimate, eclectic, modern, instrumentals and vocals more classy than ever, two sides of an album full of versatility and pure talent, this album is the nectar of r&b! Expand
  7. Dec 24, 2021
    2
    Feels like she’s for writing an album to write this album. Production wise mediocre.

See all 8 User Reviews

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