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Review: Alicia Keys - The Diary Of Alicia Keys


Shawn

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You might ask yourself the same thing we did when we saw this album: Do we really need to hear Alicia Keys' diary? And is it even possible for the neo-soul phenom to get more intimate and confessional than she was on first album Songs in A Minor?

Fear not. Despite its self-centred (and self-important) title, The Diary of Alicia Keys is actually a slightly more extroverted affair than her debut. Mostly, we suspect, because there ironically seems to be more of a group dynamic on these 13 numbers.

Although Keys still penned and produced many of these cuts herself, she appears to have relaxed and loosened the reins enough this time to allow for some healthy collaboration.

This new openness is most noticable on Heartburn, a juicy little slice of old-school blaxploitation wah-wah funk co-written and produced by Timbaland. But it's also evident in her slinky update of the Gladys Knight hit If I Were Your Woman and the tense orchestrated hip-hop of Karma.

Those who prefer Keys' earthy piano balladry and low-impact hip-hop will find plenty of it on If I Ain't Got You, So Simple and the title track. In fact, perhaps there's a little too much of it. After the engaging and upbeat tunes that open the proceedings, this front-loaded disc quickly loses momentum, dissolving into a somewhat samey-sounding set of tinkly pianos and silky smooth melody.

Ultimately, Keys' Diary is nowhere near as intimidating -- nor as rewarding -- as we might have hoped.

Track Listing

1. Harlem's Nocturne

2. Karma

3. Heartburn

4. Medley: If I Was Your Woman/Walk on By

5. You Don't Know My Name

6. If I Ain't Got You

7. Diary

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)

source - Jam Music

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