Alicia Keys has been off the scene for a few years, so maybe that sets the bar impossibly high for her return. The track she has most recently released, “In Common,” is a decent, enjoyable song with a Caribbean flavor that might linger in your head for a day or two at most, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just, perhaps, that more could be expected from the woman who gave us “You Don’t Know My Name,” “If I Ain’t Got You,” and “No One.” Keys is the queen of earnest, epic soul-bending soul, which isn’t to say she shouldn’t or can’t branch out beyond that, just that history shows that it’s what she does best. Tropical dancehall tinged singles might not be where she excels.
Or maybe I’ll still be bumping this a month from now and eating the entire above paragraph. Who can say?
Alicia Keys as yet untitled sixth solo album will be released sometime this decade, presumably, although if she holds out for a few more years we’ll have been waiting for it long enough for her to name the album Key-tox before shelving it.