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Here is the sixth studio album by American singer and songwriter Alicia Keys. It was released on November 4, 2016, by RCA Records. The first single from the standard edition, "Blended Family (What You Do for Love)", was released on October 7, 2016. "In Common" and "Hallelujah" were featured on the deluxe edition of the album.[1][2][3][4][5][6] As of May 2017, the album has sold 131,000 copies worldwide. [7]

Here
The black and white picture shows woman with black curly hair, wearing a silver earring and looking straight at camera.
Studio album by Alicia Keys
Released November 4, 2016 (2016-11-04)
Recorded 2014–2016
Genre
Length 45:55
Label RCA
Producer
Alicia Keys chronology
Girl on Fire
(2012)Girl on Fire2012
Here
(2016)
Singles from Here
  1. "In Common"
    Released: May 4, 2016
  2. "Blended Family (What You Do for Love)"
    Released: October 7, 2016

Contents

BackgroundEdit

Keys told Humanity magazine that "the music for this album was created so fast—the fastest I've ever created music before. It was like raining down every night, like storms of music was just coming out. It was crazy because I never experienced creating like that; I came in already knowing what I wanted to start to talk about. I knew the topics that I wanted to address and I knew who I wanted to assemble to help me create this very powerful sonic and lyrical journey. So everything I did was with so much intention that when the music began it made sense that it just came so fast. We did probably 30 songs in like 10 days."[8][9]

Here is Keys' first album in four years, following Girl on Fire (2012). Keys said that she was not planning a hiatus, but after she finished recording material for the album, she found out she was pregnant which "put a different time spin on things."[8] Her son Genesis was born in December 2014.[10]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
AnyDecentMusic? 7.3/10[11]
Metacritic 76/100[12]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic      [13]
Entertainment Weekly B+[14]
Consequence of Sound B–[15]
The Guardian      [16]
The Independent      [17]
NME      [18]
Pitchfork 6.5/10[19]
Rolling Stone      [20]
Slant Magazine      [21]
Vice A–[22]

Here received generally positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 76, based on 14 reviews.[12] Robert Christgau hailed it as Keys' best record since 2001's Songs in A Minor and credited Swizz Beats for defining "the funk her adventures in gospel grit demand, evoking Memphis thump while remaining so hip-hop that the samples stay in Nas-Wu-Tribe territory".[22] The Wall Street Journal's Jim Fusilli notes that the album "at its highest peaks is a powerful work of contemporary pop by an already established musician who is still determined to grow."[23] Entertainment Weekly writer Nolan Feeney felt that "the combination of her subject matter and her urgent delivery makes Here [Keys's] most vital release in years — and a welcome addition to 2016’s rich canon of albums from Beyoncé, Solange, Frank Ocean, Common, and Dev Hynes that address black life in America.[14] Keith Harris, writing for Rolling Stone, remarked that "Keys' eighth album downplays her classical training in favor of a grittier R&B edge." He described Here as "the sounds New Yorkers overhear blasting from passing cars and seeping from pedestrian earbuds, reimagined as a hectic but coherent symphony."[20] Nick Levine from NME found that "we’ve known since she debuted with "Fallin'" in 2001 that Alicia Keys can write songs that sound anthemic. But with Here, it feels as though she’s dug deep to produce a set of genuine, heartfelt and relevant anthems.[18] Ludovic Hunter-Tilney wrote for Financial Times that Here was animated by "politically active music" such as Sam Cooke's 1964 Civil Rights anthem "A Change Is Gonna Come", while noting that her "powerful vocals carry the memory of Lauryn Hill in her prime."[24]

In a mixed review, Andy Kellman of AllMusic found that "Keys' invigorated energy level and need to simply expel ideas, rather than refine them, lends the album a hollow quality." He also criticized the songwriting, in which he found an abundance of temporary placeholders: "There are more yeahs, ohs, and unghs here than on any previous Keys album."[13] Similarly, Vanessa Okoth-Obbo from Pitchfork wrote that "the rhythms on Here represent a departure from her previous efforts and indicate a willingness to experiment with her sound but the lyrics, which rarely betray a sense of adventure, cancel out most of this good work."[19]

Alicia Keys: Here in Times SquareEdit

On October 9, 2016, Keys performed a concert in Times Square, New York. The performance was televised by BET on November 3, 2016.[25]

Commercial performanceEdit

Here debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 with 50,000 album-equivalent units, of which 42,000 were pure album sales.[26] It topped the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, as well as the UK R&B Chart. It marked her lowest opening sales for an album and was a considerable drop from her previous efforts, The Element of Freedom (2009) and Girl on Fire (2012), which opened to sales of 417,000 and 159,000 units, respectively.[27] It's Keys' seventh top ten album in the United States, and, along with The Element of Freedom, her only studio album not to top the Billboard 200.[26] Apart from the United States, the album peaked within the top ten on Canadian Albums Chart, Five Music Chart in Taiwan and Schweizer Hitparade Chart in Switzerland. It failed to enter the top twenty in the United Kingdom, peaking at number twenty-one on the UK Albums Chart. In Australia, the album failed to enter the top ten, peaking at number fourteen on the ARIA Charts. As of May 2017, the album has sold 131,000 copies worldwide. [28]

Track listingEdit

Here – Standard edition[29][30]
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "The Beginning (Interlude)" 1:04
2. "The Gospel"
3:01
3. "Pawn It All"
  • Keys
  • Swizz Beatz
  • Batson
3:10
4. "Elaine Brown (Interlude)"
  • Cook
  • Keys
0:50
5. "Kill Your Mama" Keys 2:40
6. "She Don't Really Care_1 Luv"
  • Keys
  • Swizz Beatz
6:07
7. "Elevate (Interlude)"
  • Cook
  • Keys
0:48
8. "Illusion of Bliss"
  • Cook
  • Dean
  • Batson
  • Lilly
  • Keys
  • Swizz Beatz
  • Batson
5:23
9. "Blended Family (What You Do for Love)" (featuring ASAP Rocky)
  • Keys
  • Batson
3:31
10. "Work on It"
  • Keys
  • Williams
3:34
11. "Cocoa Butter (Cross & Pic Interlude)"
  • Cook
  • Keys
0:59
12. "Girl Can't Be Herself"
  • Cook
  • Batson
  • Lilly
  • Martin
  • Keys
  • Batson
2:39
13. "You Glow (Interlude)"
  • Cook
  • Keys
0:25
14. "More Than We Know"
  • Cook
  • Batson
  • Lilly
  • Keys
  • Batson
4:35
15. "Where Do We Begin Now"
  • Cook
  • Batson
  • Lilly
  • Martin
  • Hyman
  • Keys
  • Batson
2:47
16. "Holy War"
4:22
Total length: 45:55

Notes

  • "Pawn It All" features background vocals by Swizz Beatz.
  • "Blended Family (What You Do for Love)" features background vocals by Tish Hyman.
  • "She Don't Really Care / 1 Luv" contains samples of "One Love", written by Nas, Q-Tip, and Jimmy Heath, and performed by Nas; it also contains interpolations of "Fool Yourself", written by Fred Tackett and performed by Little Feat.
  • "Elevate (Interlude)" features uncredited vocals by Nas.

PersonnelEdit

Credits adapted from Here liner notes.[34]

ChartsEdit

Release historyEdit

List of release dates, showing region, edition(s), format(s), label and reference.
Region Date Edition(s) Format(s) Label Ref.
United Kingdom November 4, 2016 (2016-11-04)
  • Standard
  • Deluxe
RCA [30]
United States [29]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ Blistein, Jon (October 7, 2016). "Hear Alicia Keys' Heartfelt Ode 'Blended Family' With A$AP Rocky". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 7, 2016. 
  3. ^ Pearce. Sheldon (October 7, 2016). "Alicia Keys Announces New Album Here, Shares A$AP Rocky Collab "Blended Family (What You Do For Love)": Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved October 7, 2016. 
  4. ^ Renshaw, David (October 7, 2016). "Alicia Keys Announces New Album Here With A$AP Rocky Collaboration". The Fader. Retrieved October 7, 2016. 
  5. ^ Young, Alex (October 7, 2016). "Alicia Keys announces new album, Here, shares ASAP Rocky single — listen". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved October 7, 2016. 
  6. ^ Goodman, Jessica (October 7, 2016). "Alicia Keys releases A$AP Rocky collab from new album, Here". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 7, 2016. 
  7. ^ Boneschansker, Daniel. "Grammys 2018: What Are the Best-selling Albums (so Far) Eligible for Album of the Year?" Goldderby. Goldderby, 11 May 2017. Web. 26 May 2017.
  8. ^ a b Freedman, Jared (July 6, 2016). "Alicia Keys". Citizens of Humanity. Retrieved November 6, 2016. 
  9. ^ Geslani, Michele (November 4, 2016). "Stream: Alicia Keys' new album HERE". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved November 6, 2016. 
  10. ^ Webber, Stephanie (December 28, 2014). "Alicia Keys Gives Birth, Welcomes Second Baby Boy With Swizz Beatz: See His Unique Name!". Us Weekly. Retrieved November 6, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Here by Alicia Keys reviews". Any Decent Music. Retrieved November 26, 2016. 
  12. ^ a b "Critic Reviews for Here". Metacritic. Retrieved 2016-11-09. 
  13. ^ a b Kellman, Andy. "Alicia Keys - Here". AllMusic. AllMusic. Retrieved November 7, 2016. 
  14. ^ a b Feeney, Nolan (November 9, 2016). "Alicia Keys' Here: EW Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 9, 2016. 
  15. ^ https://consequenceofsound.net/2016/11/album-review-alicia-keys-here/
  16. ^ Bowser, Edward (November 10, 2016). "Album Review: Alicia Keys, Here". The Guardian. Retrieved November 10, 2016. 
  17. ^ Gill, Andy (November 9, 2016). "Album reviews: Emeli Sande - Long Live The Angels, Sting - 57th & 9th, Alicia Keys - Here, Simple Minds - Acoustic". The Independent. Retrieved November 9, 2016. 
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