Alicia Keys The Diary Of Alicia Keys Review

Released 2003.  

BBC Review

If you're a fan of slow jams you will feel like a kid in a candy store, all angles of...

Denise Boyd 2003

Who can forget the Grammy award winning debut album Songs in A Minor? How do you follow that? Well just ask Alicia Keys because her sophomore album The Diary Of Alicia Keys does just that and much more.

Lest we forget her classical brilliance "Harlem's Nocturne" is a fitting introduction. Alicia's mastery of the ivories is also showcased in "Feeling U, Feeling Me". This beautiful overture can only be described as cosmic jazz, reminiscent of Herbie Hancock.

If you're a fan of slow jams you will feel like a kid in a candy store, all angles of love are covered here. Songs to look out for are, "If I Was Your Woman/ Walk On By" which is stylised in the classic Motown format and "If I Ain't Got You". This heartfelt ballad has a strong jazz and blues influence and would do any soul diva proud.Here Alicia is able to show off the vocals skills which sometimes play second fiddle to her other musical talents.

"You Don't Know My Name" is the first release from the 'Diary' and clearly the stand-out track. This is Alicia Keys at her best, sweet and soulful with a hint of the tickling piano keys - pure pleasure.

Although essentially a love album, Ms Keys does mix it up. "So Simple" will undoubtedly appease the urban market with its clever synthesised rhythm whilst "Heartburn" has a psychedelic funky beat that allows Alicia to demonstrate her versatility with this fun and sexy up-tempo offering.

Unlike many urban albums The Diary of Alicia Keys is refreshing in its lack of featured artists. The "Streets Of New York" is the only collaboration and brings together the dulcet tones of Alicia with the raw, edgy and conscious lyrics of Nas and Rakim in a perfect combination.

There are so many facets to this album. In addition to the trademark earthy organic sound, we are also treated to an eclectic mix of genres. From cosmic jazz to sensual salsa she has it covered. I for one am very glad that Alicia Keys has revealed the secrets of her diary.

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