songs in A minor
label: J Records
our score: 4.0 out of 5.0
artists are being promoted for their sexuality just as much (if
not more) as their music. An up and coming artist will be judged
on how marketable her body is, along with her music as an entire
package. However, artists such as Jill Scott have gone against
the satus quo, and proven they can win over fans with purely their
voice. Alicia Keys is just such a musician. She joins Scott and
fellow vocalist Blu Cantrell in choosing a different fork in the
road in not getting their physical appearance in the way of their
music. Fans that truly appreciate the music will applaud this.
her debut with Songs in A Minor, a jazzy, r&b effort
that seeks to position Keys among the greats. "Girlfriend,"
which has single written all over it, opens the album and immediately
demonstrates the 20-year-old's ability to melt her voice between
the keys of her blues piano riff. "Girlfriend," however,
pales in comparison to the first release, "Fallin."
Here Keys wails relentlessly about her emotional struggle with
an on and off relationship.
One of the
most defining tracks that seems to sum up what Alicia Keys is
all about is "A Woman's Worth." Not a man-bashing track
as the title may imply, but more of a definement of how a man
should treat a woman. She butters it up with her soulfull voice
to add sincerity to her message. She then manages to squeeze in
the funky "Rock Wit U" and the more playful, Stevie
Wonder-esque "Mr. Man" to round out her repretoire,
and closes Songs in A Minor with a handful of ballads to
show off her vocals.
that generally don't stray too much from the top 40 or even the
r&b on the radio will love this album from start to finish.
However, dedicated soul and blues listeners won't be overly impressed.
Although Songs in A Minor is a solid, well polished album,
it won't position Alicia Keys ahead of Erykah Badu or India Arie,
liked songs in A minor...
Piano & 1 (intro)
3. . How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore?
6. Rock Wit U
7. A Woman's Worth
8. Jane Doe
10. The Life
11. Mr. Man (feat. Jimmy Cozier)
12. Never Felt This Way (interlude)
14. Why Do I Feel So Sad?
15. Caged Bird (outro)