Alicia Keys may not be wearing make-up but she is definitely making-up for lost time with her sixth studio album Here, due to drop on November 4.
Entering the early 2000s with her debut Songs In A Minor, a cute and cornrowed 20-year-old Keys, followed through a career which rarely drew attention to her image, until now.
Making a fresh-faced appearance at this year’s MTV VMAs, Keys gained a mixed response over her au natural look but confirms she is not anti-make-up and told her Twitter followers to “just do you”.
Keys is far from fallin’ and, in fact, this year has seen the R&B princess reach new heights, inspiring women globally with her new #nomakeup movement while she braces fans for what she describes as her most “raw and honest” album to date.
The mother of two has released three teaser tracks from Here which comes four years after This Girl Is On Fire and is set to whip listeners up into a whirl of honesty and love with her new collection.
Blended Family (What You Do For Love) is the ninth lyrical piece on the new album and sees the unlikely but harmonious collaboration with A$AP Rocky.
Over twinkling and uplifting sounds heard from an acoustic guitar and a polite piano, Keys voices the struggles and joys of having a stepson from her husband, rapper and producer Swizz Beatz and ensures that love conquers all regardless of being a stepmother.
A$AP Rocky contributes his memories of growing up in a blended family with four stepmums in a softer rap than we are used to from the cutting-edge hip-hop and rap artist.
Fans can expect husky tones from Keys on track 17 Hallelujah which, although it follows a basic and repetitive lyrical narrative, it has a great gospel groove evoking lots of emotion.
Keys carries on the groove into her final track of the album In Common. The rushes of electronic tempos sway it towards a dance-ready track but the South American percussion takes listeners on a sensual latin American-infused journey instead.
Here is the Alicia we have always known and loved, emotional and honest, with only a few minor changes to her take on the R&B and soul genre.