A rock is probably where you've been living under if you haven’t heard Alicia Keys’ If I Ain’t Got You at least a dozen times (or seen the headlines on her recent makeup-defying beauty statement). This time, she's shaking off her radio-devouring balladeer demeanour to return with looser, cooler tunes in her punchy sixth album. Here issues an honest message to the world, tackling unrealistic female beauty standards in Girl Can’t Be Herself, celebrating the history of black culture in The Gospel and sorrowing over the skewed priorities between love and hate in Holy War. Summing up the 18-track album, here are nine life lessons from Here.

1. Self-esteem is everything.
“In the morning from the minute that I wake up / What if I don't want to put on all that make up? / Who says I must conceal what I'm made of? / Maybe all this Maybelline is covering my self-esteem" - Girl Can't Be Herself

2. But money isn't.
"Killing our selves / Falling down with the sickness / Money is the king / It's a dirty bloody business" - Kill Your Mama

3. Like what the movie Frozen has annoyingly taught us, you just have to let it go.

“Sometimes you gotta let it go just to make it possible / Sometimes you gotta do it / Be willing to lose it / Freedom has no price, you know” - Pawn It All


4. Nothing worth having comes easy.
“Life seems hard but nothin' ever comes easy / Whatever’s in the dark, can always become the light / If you ain't in a battle, how you gon' win the fight?" - The Gospel

5. Love conquers all.
“Some days are hard / There ain't no easy way / No matter how we try / Nobody is perfect / But if we just love each other through it all / Now that makes it worth it" - Work On It

6. Spread your wings.
“See if we just stayed on the ground / Then we would never see the stars / And if you're too afraid to walk in faith / Then you will never know your heart / And if we just stayed on the corner / Then we would never see the world" - More Than We Know


7. Love is thicker than blood.
"Hey I might not really be your mother / But that don't mean that I don't really love ya / And even though I married your father / That's not the only reason I'm here for ya" - Blended Family (What You Do For Love)

8. Listen before judging.
“Won't somebody see me when I can't see myself / Won’t somebody listen before I need help / I’m sick of being judged, sick of being sick / Tell me where's the love” - Illusion of Bliss




9. Stop the hate and spread the love.
“What if love was holy and hate obscene / We should give life to this beautiful dream / Cause peace and love ain't so far” - Holy War

Alicia Keys will headline Rock On! 2017 on 31 December at The Float @ Marina Bay. Tickets will be available for sale from 18 November, 10am at Apactix
For last week’s #WomanCrushWednesday, click here.