"Girl on Fire (Inferno Version)"

The hardest-self-empowering woman in show business takes it all back to where she began, with a soulful pep talk about being your own best friend. "Girl on Fire," the first single and title track from Mrs. Swizz Beatz's upcoming album, comes in three different versions, the best of which is a straight up Eighties-style power ballad in Phil Collins mode: There are huge drums, crashing piano chords, a sky-scraping "oh-oh-oh" refrain, and the motto "This girl is on fire," plus a Nicki Minaj cameo in which she revisits her well-worn Marilyn Monroe obsession. Keys doesn't summon the lung power of a song like "No One," yet she sounds sisterly and bighearted: Give her credit for going Full Phil on this one.

Listen to "Girl on Fire (Inferno Version)":

From The Archives Issue 1166: September 27, 2012
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