I'm really enjoying Alicia Keys's new album, The Element of Freedom, and one of my favorite songs from it is a love song to New York called "Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down."
"I'm gonna make it by any means. I got a pocketful of dreams. Baby, I'm from New York," Keys sings. "Concrete jungle where dreams are made of. There's nothing you can't do. Now you're in New York."
The original "Empire State of Mind" was a Jay-Z song that featured Keys playing piano and singing what's now the chorus of "Part II."
Because I bought the deluxe version of the album, I got an "intimate 'acoustic' studio performance" video of "Part II," which has a lot to recommend it:
Keys sounding and looking amazing
Cubbish bass player
Handsome backup singer
With the deluxe version, you also get "intimate 'acoustic'" videos of "Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart" and "Doesn't Mean Anything" from TEOF as well as "No One," which was, of course, a huge hit from the As I Am album.
My other favorite songs from TEOF are "Like the Sea," "Through It All," and an irresistible duet with Beyoncé called "Put It in a Love Song." Check 'em out.