Photo via teenvogue.com.

5/5 Stars

Alicia Keys’ new album, “ALICIA,” released in Sept. 2020, features 16 songs that provide a vibrant medley of varying sounds. Among the 16 songs is one titled “Underdog,” which reminds us to keep our heads up, take in every moment and appreciate the little things in life that are right before our eyes.

With the pandemic continuing to spread throughout the country, Keys brings light to the beautiful things that are still around us during these times. “Underdog” is encouraging, inspiring and truthful. Without having released an album since 2016, Keys certainly did not disappoint with “ALICIA.” 

The lyrics of the song relate to reality and the beauty of how the world truly is when you take the time to notice and appreciate it. If someone is in need of a pick-me-up song, “Underdog” should be a go-to. Verse one ends by shedding light on the world that’s right in front of you. “One conversation, a simple moment / The things that change us if we notice / When we look up sometimes.” 

The song continues on, highlighting the types of obstacles her audience runs into and the individual struggles they all have to endure in their day to day life. Keys praises them, “Keep on keeping at what you love / You’ll find that someday soon enough / You will rise up.” 

“Underdog” reassures listeners that wherever they are in life, they will soon find their success. 

Not only do the lyrics of the song bring forth heavy emotions, but the music video makes “Underdog” hit home even more. In the video, the variety of people mentioned in the lyrics are shown on-screen. It follows those carrying out their day, doing what they can to be as successful as possible while living on a fine thread. Keys herself is also featured in the music video. As she begins to dance, more and more of the fearless, resilient citizens join her. By the end of the video, all of them are dancing together, with wide, bright smiles on their faces and not a worry in the world.

Other notable songs from Keys’ album “ALICIA” include “Authors Of Forever,” “Time Machine” and “Perfect Way To Die.” She continues with the themes of courage, hope and inspiration throughout most of the album, including a few songs about love and sorrow.

With a lot being uncertain during a pandemic, a song like “Underdog” was definitely needed to lift spirits and spread positivity. Although it is hard to get out, meet other people and begin to work on your success with COVID-19 still making an appearance, at least we have this song to listen to for when that time finally does come.

Due to how much inspiration and hope is generated from not only the masterpiece of the song “Underdog,” but the album too, this rating is a five out of five stars. It is one that should be a must-have on playlists of those who love and appreciate contemporary R&B, or even just those who need a pure, uplifting song to get them through their day.