With the single "Doesn't Mean Anything" already out, [artist id="503203"]Alicia Keys[/artist] is set to release her fourth album, The Element of Freedom, on December 1. For the follow-up to 2007's As I Am, the singer worked with longtime collaborator Kerry "Krucial" Brothers along with Grammy-winning producer Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Jay-Z).
"The music is really strong, and the drums are really aggressive, but my voice is vulnerable and delicate," Keys said in a statement, adding that the album sum ups her process of "eliminating all of the boundaries and all the limitations, so that you can feel your freedom and express your freedom in every way you possibly can, and that's what I did with this album."
When MTV News caught up with Keys last month, she hadn't yet pinned down a name for the album but spoke openly and enthusiastically about its lead single, the video for which will premiere on PerezHilton.com on October 16 before hitting other sites the next day.
"The sound of it is very different — it almost feels like you're flying," she said of the track. "It takes you there. It has that piano, heavy-drum feeling. But the song touches you in this way. You dream of having all these things, you dream of going all these places. But what's the point of doing that, having that, if the one you want to be there isn't with you?"
Keys said the album is diverse but has an overarching pattern. "There's a feeling theme," she explained. "And I think somewhere in there, there's a balance. It's like one side is strong and one side is vulnerable. So that's the theme throughout the album. It has this kind of strong, edgy feel. But it's also intimate and vulnerable and delicate."
The singer can currently be heard on Jay-Z's Blueprint 3 track "Empire State of Mind."