Following the publication of her memoir in March, Alicia Keys’s seventh album comes from a more personal place than her previous sets. Some tracks are a little beige and mawkish (notably Underdog, co-written with, among others, Ed Sheeran), and occasionally the storytelling is heavy on platitudes (“All I ever wanted was a dollar and a chance”, she offers on the EDM-lite of Love Looks Better).
But the collaborations provide some striking moments, such as her sweet head-to-head with Jill Scott on a song named after the neo-soul star and the delectable combinations with Miguel (Show Me Love) and Khalid (So Done). Other standouts include the washed-out late-night beauty of 3 Hour Drive (featuring Sampha), the twinkly pop of Me x 7, which boasts the slick rap skills of Tierra Whack, and the harrowing Perfect Way to Die, which addresses police brutality. Add the plaintive closer Good Job, wherein she works wonders with a simple vocal and piano, and you have a largely enjoyable set that finds the silken-voiced singer deftly blending genres, both classic and contemporary.