Producer:
Kerry "Krucial" Brothers & Alicia Keys
Album:
The Element of Freedom

When we featured Empire State of Mind back in September, Booth readers seemed to agree that, though Hova turned in a star performance on the mic, hookwoman Alicia Keys’ guest vocals were the true, um key (I’m not even going to dignify that by calling it a pun) to the track’s success. If that was your take, Empire State of Mind Pt. 2 (Broken Down), an all-Alicia reinterpretation of the hit single set to appear on the singer’s fourth studio album, should be right up your alley. Over her and Kerry “Krucial” Brothers’ pared-down, piano-led instrumental, Keys paints a vivid, warts-and-all portrait of her famed hometown: “Such a melting pot, on the corner selling rock, preachers pray to God…” Needless to say, that killer chorus hits home as hard as ever – particularly when the drums kick in for the record’s climax. How does Keys’ take stack up against the original? As always, I’ll let Booth readers have the final say. ESoM2 isn’t slated for promotion as an official single, but it will be available for purchase from online retailers prior to the December 14 release of Keys’ latest full-length, The Element of Freedom.

Alicia Keys

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