The Diary of Alicia Keys
label: J Records
our score: 3.5 out of 5.0
shocking surprise is back for another album. In that year, Alicia
had one of the biggest pop hits of the year, went quadruple platinum
with Songs in A Minor, and won 5 Grammies. Her sophistication
and music well beyond her years struck a chord with countless
demographics, and became soul music's savior.
back with the sophomore album. It's definitely not the usual "sophomore
jinx," but it's a bit more of the same. It's deeply personal,
and more soulful than ever, but just seems to stay a little too
much in her comfort zone to truly be a great album. Half of the
songs trudge into all too familiar territory, making you question
yourself "haven't I heard this somewhere before?" "If
I Ain't Got You" sounds like it could have come from any
R&B crooner in history; and "When You Love Someone"
has the same 6/8 time and arpeggios that "Fallin'" does.
But first single off the album, "You Don't Know My Name",
is brilliant. Kanye West does something that not even the Neptunes
could have done, and looked back to the soul of the 60's for a
very natural feeling beat. A lot of artists as of recent credit
legendary soul singers like Aretha Franklin and Patti LaBelle
for their influence, but Keys seems to be the only one truly emulating
them. She even covers "If I Was Your Woman" and "Walk
On By", and gives them a great new twist. She does further
stray away from her peers and further develop her sound that is
all her own. "Dragon Days" is a representative of this.
No other artist today would be making a song like this; yet the
shortcomings of the lyrics ("Like a desert needs water, I
need you a lot")
to capture the general essence and feel of Songs in A Minor,
which turns out to be the albums strongest point. Its atmosphere
feels like warmth on a bitterly cold day, but overall, a lot of
the songs sound more filler than anything. But she still is proving
to be one of the most promising artists in music today.
liked The DIary of Alicia Keys...
4. Medley: If I Was Your Woman / Walk On By
5. You Don't Know My Name
6. If I Ain't Got You
8. Dragon Days
9. Wake Up
10. So Simple
11. When You Really Love Someone
12. Feeling U, Feeling Me (interlude)
13. Slow Down
14. Samsonite Man
15. Nobody Not Really (interlude)