Diary of Alicia Keys [Germany Bonus CD]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Since Alicia Keys' 2001 debut album, Songs in A Minor, was ever so slightly overpraised, expectations for her second album, 2003's The Diary of Alicia Keys, were ever so slightly too high. Songs in A Minor not only kicked off a wave of ambitious new neo-soul songsters, it fit neatly into the movement of ambitious yet classicist new female singer/songwriters who ranged from the worldbeat-inflected pop of Nelly Furtado to the jazzy Norah Jones, whose success may not have been possible if Keys hadn't laid the groundwork with such soulful work as her hit "Fallin'." Such success at such a young age, even if deserved, can be too much too soon, since young songwriters ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Since Alicia Keys' 2001 debut album, Songs in A Minor, was ever so slightly overpraised, expectations for her second album, 2003's The Diary of Alicia Keys, were ever so slightly too high. Songs in A Minor not only kicked off a wave of ambitious new neo-soul songsters, it fit neatly into the movement of ambitious yet classicist new female singer/songwriters who ranged from the worldbeat-inflected pop of Nelly Furtado to the jazzy Norah Jones, whose success may not have been possible if Keys hadn't laid the groundwork with such soulful work as her hit "Fallin'." Such success at such a young age, even if deserved, can be too much too soon, since young songwriters showered with praise and riches may find it hard to see the world outside of their own cocoon. The very title of The Diary of Alicia Keys -- at once disarmingly simple and self-important -- suggests that Keys, like Furtado, took her stardom a little too seriously and felt compelled to present her world view unfiltered, dispensing with artistic ambiguities and leaving each song as a portrait of Alicia Keys, the woman as a young artist. As she somewhat bafflingly says in her liner notes, "these songs are like my daily entrees," which likely means that these were indeed intended to play like unedited entries in a journal, a goal that she's fulfilled quite successfully, even if it does mean that the album often plays as a diary, leaving listeners in the role of observers instead of seeing themselves in the songs. This was a problem on Furtado's nearly simultaneously released Folklore, but Keys trumps her peer in one key way -- musically, this is a seamless piece of work, with a sultry slow groove that emphasizes her breathy, seductive voice and lush soulfulness. Tonally, this is ideal late-night romantic music, even when the tempos are kicked up a notch, as on the blaxploitation-fueled "Heartburn," yet beneath that sensuous surface there is some crafty, complex musicality, particularly in how Keys blurs lines between classic soul, modern rhythms, jazz, pop melodies, and singer/songwriter sensibility. It's an exceptionally well-constructed production, and as a sustained piece of sonic craft; it's not just seductive, it's a good testament to Keys' musical strengths which can even withstand Andre Harris and Vidal Davis' irritating squeaky voice production signature on "So Simple". What the album lacks are songs as immediate as "Fallin'" or as compelling as "A Woman's Worth," and that, combined with her insular outlook, is where Diary comes up short and reveals that it is indeed merely a second album. Such is the problem of arriving with a debut as fully formed as Songs in A Minor at such a young age -- listeners tend to expect more from the sequel, forgetting that this an artist still in her formative stages. So, those expecting another album where Keys sounds wise beyond her years will bound to be disappointed by The Diary of Alicia Keys, since her writing reveals her age in a way it never did on the debut. Yet that is a typical problem with sophomore efforts, and while this is a problem, it's one that is outweighed by her continually impressive musical achievements; they're enough to make The Diary worth repeated listens, and they're enough to suggest that Keys will continue to grow on her third album. [This German version of the album includes an additional CD of bonus material.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/19/2004
  • Label: J Records Europe
  • UPC: 828766323122
  • Catalog Number: 663231

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Harlem's Nocturne (1:43)
  2. 2 Karma (4:16)
  3. 3 Heartburn (3:28)
  4. 4 If I Was Your Woman/Walk on By (3:06)
  5. 5 You Don't Know My Name (6:06)
  6. 6 If I Ain't Got You (3:48)
  7. 7 Diary (4:44)
  8. 8 Dragon Days (4:36)
  9. 9 Wake Up (4:27)
  10. 10 So Simple (3:49)
  11. 11 When You Really Love Someone (4:09)
  12. 12 Feeling U, Feeling Me (2:07)
  13. 13 Slow Down (4:18)
  14. 14 Samsonite Man (4:12)
  15. 15 Nobody Not Really (5:28)
Disc 2
  1. 1 If I Ain't Got You (3:52)
  2. 2 If I Ain't Got You (3:53)
  3. 3 If I Ain't Got You (3:47)
  4. 4 You Don't Know My Name/Will You Ever Know It (7:37)
  5. 5 You Don't Know My Name
  6. 6 If I Ain't Got You
  7. 7 Diary
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Alicia Keys Primary Artist, Piano, Keyboards, Background Vocals, Clavinet, fender rhodes, Synthesizer Piano
Artie "Blues Boy" White Guitar
Sanford Allen Violin, Concert Master
Elijah Baker Bass
Julien Barber Viola
Katreese Barnes Background Vocals
Pablo Batista Percussion
Fred Cash Bass
Robert Chausow Viola
Ray Chew Conductor
Barry Finclair Viola
Eileen Folson Cello
Stanley Hunte Violin
Cindy Mizelle Background Vocals
Timothy Christian Riley Piano
Joe Romano Horn
Willie Weeks Bass
Richard Brice Viola
Avril Brown Violin
Artie Reynolds Bass
Dale Stuckenbruck Violin
Maxine Roach Viola
Marisol Espada Cello
Marion Pinheiro Violin
Alexander Vselensky Violin
Caryl Paisner Cello
Ronnie Drayton Guitar
Xin Zhao Violin
Jessica Wilson Background Vocals
Onree Gill Hammond Organ, fender rhodes
Arcel Vickers Organ
Lori Miller Violin
Andricka Hall Background Vocals
Steve Jordan Drums
L.C. Green Background Vocals
Paul Alexandre John Drums
Harold Lilly Background Vocals
Sharief Hobley Guitar
Gwendolyn Laster Violin
Jerimiah "Jermaine" Paul Background Vocals
Ricky Quinones Guitar
John Legend Background Vocals
Erika Rose Background Vocals
Taneisha Smith Background Vocals
Denise Stoudmire Background Vocals
Melissa Meell Cello
Technical Credits
Burt Bacharach Composer
J.R. Bailey Composer
Tony Black Engineer
Sam Hopkins Composer
Ray Chew String Arrangements, String Conductor
Hal David Composer
Gregory Isaacs Composer
Melvin Kent Composer
Herb Powers Mastering
Pam Sawyer Composer
Andre Harris Composer, Producer, Instrumentation
Ann Mincieli Engineer
Kanye West Composer
Vidal Davis Composer, Producer, Instrumentation
Peter Edge Executive Producer
Rich Harrison Composer
Alicia Keys Composer, Producer, Executive Producer, Instrumentation
L.C. Green Composer
Harold Lilly Composer
Vincent Dilorenzo Engineer
Chris LeBeau Producer
Candice Nelson Composer
Erika Rose Composer
Taneisha Smith Composer
Walter Millsap Composer
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