The other week we featured Jay-Z & Alicia Keys singing “Empire State of Mind” from 2009. The following year Alicia stated that she was planning to release a second version of the song as a single, featuring only her vocals. The track, entitled “Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down”, appeared on her fourth studio album The Element of Freedom which was released in December 2009. The original version, entitled “Empire State of Mind Part 2”, included both Keys’ vocals and a new rap verse from Jay-Z, but the final product did not include Jay-Z. Discussing the record, Keys said that it acts as a dichotomy of strength and vulnerability, commenting that “The music is really strong, and the drums are really aggressive, but my voice is vulnerable and delicate”.
“Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down” was generally well received by contemporary music critics in their reviews for The Element of Freedom. Allison Stewart of The Washington Post noted that the track, which is a pop ballad, had replaced “Empire State of Mind” sports team references and ruminations with “even milder and less controversial string of generalities”, highlighting Keys’ version’s lyrics “If I could make it here/I could make it anywhere”. The song peaked at number four in the United Kingdom on downloads alone.
Don’t forget, if you have any music videos you would like us to feature in the future, drop us a line. We are always happy to listen to requests from others, we cannot promise to feature any but we will try our best to find the videos if we think others will enjoy.