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Alicia Keys
The Diary of Alicia Keys

Producing a great album usually takes a lot of work, but Alicia Keys makes it all look so easy. The singer started her career at the age of seven by playing piano, while studying classical music and jazz. In 2001 she released her first album, Songs in A Minor, which debuted at the top of the Billboard Charts, thanks to her self-written first single "Fallin'."

With the help of "Fallin'," along with "A Woman's Worth" and Prince's "How Come You Don't Call Me," Keys was awarded five Grammys the following year.

Vintage blues and soul are mixed with a heavier hip hop influence on The Diary of..., a journey into Keys' musical highs and lows. "Karma" is a midnight street symphony laced with a pair of horns playing on Keys' every word. The singer revisits some 70's soul with perfection on "If I Was Your Woman/Walk on By," recalling Gladys Knight's "If I Were Your Woman" and Dionne Warwick on the same record.

First single "You Don't Know My Name" is a Keys original, throwing a more classical feel with a violin, viola and cello. Tony! Toni! Tone! regroups to assist on "Diary," heavily incorporating their smooth-rolling R&B feel into the track. "Slow Down" stands out only for its shameless use of overused lyric (slow down babe let's take our time). A single track, however, can't slow this musician down; The Dairy Of Alicia Keys is just too well read.

Crystal at 11/16/2004 11:14:00 AM

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