For some reason that I can't put my finger on, these past couple years have been rough between me and Mrs. Alicia Keys. I just haven't been able to connect with the girl I warmed to on Songs in A Minor or the woman I fell in love with on The Diary of Alicia Keys. With the release of Girl on Fire, I was very hesitant but then caught off guard when I jammed through the whole record. My connection with her artistry has been rekindled with a vengeance. "Brand New Me" captured my ears and soul and in a strange way served as an explanation, of sorts, for why I haven't necessarily clicked with Alicia of late. The opening song of the album served as a reintroduction to Alicia, now a wife and mother with a new outlook on life. Respect to director Diane Martel for crafting such a wonderful companion piece to this great song about self-exploration and the courage to start anew. It begins with Alicia preparing for a performance or recording session under the watchful eye of a not-so-nice director/manager/producer. Alicia gets up from her piano and wanders around the set becoming more confident in the new direction she is traveling. Towards the end she sheds her wig in defiance to reveal her shorter, more authentic look. What is most apparent in this video is that Alicia is an actress. Is anyone still attached to the Lena Horne biopic? If not, someone should call Alicia. I believed her struggle and I felt that she came up on the other side with a new attitude. How much this parallels her actual life I don't know, but it may give others the courage to engage in this type of self-reflection. This warm, astutely executed video definitely brightened my day. I am looking forward to see what else Alicia brings forward in this new chapter of her career.