Single Review: Alicia Keys – Girl On Fire (feat. Nicki Minaj)


Another day, another female icon to tick off Nicki Minaj’s list. Nicki has teamed up with Alicia Keys as she makes her return and attempt to maintain the incredible acclaim and success she has garnered since her breakthrough all those years ago. Not that any of us were frightened; after all, Alicia Keys is shaping up to be a musical legend. It’s just a question of how incredible she plans to be this era.

‘Girl On Fire’ is a declaration of female empowerment. Alicia proves her vocal worth in the stunning chorus and Minaj has a blistering middle eight to be proud of.  The track has a nostalgic aspect that Alicia conjures time and time again – she is certainly one of the most unique artists working in the music scene today. Evidently, she has an ear for a good hook too as the track brandishes two – one in the bridge and the title lyric itself.

The song is centred around a harsh drum beat and Keys’ piano and is a very organic affair. Electronica at bay, the song is very simple – layered vocals, the aforementioned instrumentation and a few atmospherics. It might not grab you right away, but it’s a grower and the chorus will be stuck in your head instantly. It proves Keys’ talent, in that she doesn’t feel the need to overproduce or squash her songs under autotune and walls of noise – there is something refreshing and honest about ‘Girl On Fire’ that is needed in the charts.

Ending with a sing-a-long moment reminiscent of Keys’ ‘No One’, the single is steering what is set to be another glorious campaign. Nobody merges the soul and RnB world quite like Alicia Keys and her return sees her soar straight to the top of the game. Whether it’s her piano skills, her emotive voice or her impressive songwriting that draws you into her diverse fanbase, ‘Girl on Fire’ will not let you down. It’s effortlessly beautiful and intrinsically Alicia.

Words: Simon McMurdo


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