"Girl on Fire" leads Alicia Keys' like-titled fifth album with an unadorned but powerful Salaam Remi production. It replicates the simple but indelible drum pattern from Billy Squier's "Big Beat," as heard on dozens of rap songs, from Run-D.M.C.'s "Here We Go" to Jay-Z's "99 Problems." The lyrics are slipshod; she's "living in a world, and it's on fire," then she's "on top of the world" with "both feet on the ground" and "our head in the clouds." It's more about Keys' performance -- a prideful, invigorated vocal that climaxes with a poignant shout.
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman