I’ve been listening to this song for a few days now, and came to the conclusion that, either I’m over Alicia Keys being a “thing” or this song is really lacking the “fire” I undeniably expect. Of course the former is unthinkable. This song lacks the one ingredient that most anthems of independence have in common: conviction. When I listen to “Girl On Fire”, it just sounds like Alicia Keys sings the words, but this is not her truth. This is in stark contrast to the new found power Alicia professes to have found.
She ends up shouting most of the time, which she should know is not the best way to give power to a song. Arguably the best thing to happen to this song is the guest appearance from Nicki Minaj. For the first time since what feels like the release of Pink Friday, it appears that no auto tune went into Nicki’s verse, who raps about being haunted by the ghost of Marilyn Monroe, Yeah, whatever Nicki.
It’s a sub par song, delivered poorly and once again leaves me doubting whether Alicia Keys will have a great year when the new album is released. Who knows, maybe it’s a grower. Until then, my opinion stands.