Pop Superstar Alicia Keys Unveils New Album ‘Keys’ in Dubai | Health, Medicine and Fitness

By ISABEL DEBRE – Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Superstar Alicia Keys on Friday launched her new album live to a large crowd at the Dubai World’s Fair – a lively pop performance full of vocals and piano solos.

“We can live in the air,” she hummed beneath the vast, glittering dome of the Dubai Expo, a walled stage surrounded by riveted fans – and vaccinated against COVID-19 – who bounce, groove and nod. head to the beat. “Baby, baby, we’re going to rock forever. “

Keys, 40, walked the stage in a glittery gold bodysuit, hair in a tight bun, and released her eighth studio album with old classics, beaming with confidence.

“Tonight I want you to let it all go, let it all go and come with me on this journey,” she told the revelers. “I never want this night to end.”

His jazzy songs under the starry sky projected by the dome, set to punchy cross currents and piano arpeggios, created a sort of incessant, dreamy run through the grounds of the Expo as the warm night hovered languidly over the Persian Gulf. The keys whirled, crisscrossed and sometimes remained alone to strike high notes of the piano.

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The 15-time Grammy-winning singer’s sprawling double album “Keys” features two versions of each song: “Originals,” produced by Keys, and “Unlocked,” produced by Keys and Michael Williams II, which stars Mike Will Made-It.

His piano “Originals” are emotional and intimate soul tunes brimming with love and nostalgia, while “Unlocked” features upbeat, more clubby pop versions of the same tracks.

She pitched the premise of the album to the crowd as a Friday night experience.

“Tell me which version you prefer,” she said before performing drastically different versions of the same track, one passed out and the other synthesized, asking for audience preferences through their cheers.

Her Dubai set also included hits like “Girl on Fire”, “Empire State of Mind” and “New Day”, booming anthems that audiences danced and sang with their hearts out.

Much of the new material retains its signature R&B backbone and themes of introspection, desire and devotion. But the “Unlocked” tracks offer a surprisingly distinct and stylish touch.

Keys’ previous album, “Alicia,” released in the midst of the pandemic last year, focused on more current and raw themes, with vulnerable faiths and references to health workers infected with the virus and the struggles of ordinary people to get by.

Keys said she felt the new tracks had given her more confidence and clarity, describing the album once as feeling completely “comfortable in my skin”.

During the last two dizzying decades of her career, Keys has become a global pop and R&B icon, as well as a bestselling memoir author, actress, activist, entrepreneur, Grammy host, philanthropist and pioneer of a #nomakeup in the public arena. She’s a mother too, as she reminded the crowd when she invited her two little sons to the stage to accept flowers and plant kisses on their heads.

Before singing her closing classic, “If I Ain’t Got You,” she left audiences enthralled with one final uplifting message from the piano bench.

“Don’t wait to tell people… that you love you love them,” she said. “This is dedicated to you. I love you so much.”

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