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Diary of Alicia Keys
     

The Diary of Alicia Keys

4.5 49
by Alicia Keys
 

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Alicia Keys made one of the most startling debuts of 2001 with the Grammy-winning Songs in A Minor, which introduced a raw, 20-something talent exploring R&B, hip-hop, and jazz. While haters called the disc wildly overpraised, many more devotees made it a multiplatinum smash. Her much more accomplished follow-up, The Diary

Overview

Alicia Keys made one of the most startling debuts of 2001 with the Grammy-winning Songs in A Minor, which introduced a raw, 20-something talent exploring R&B, hip-hop, and jazz. While haters called the disc wildly overpraised, many more devotees made it a multiplatinum smash. Her much more accomplished follow-up, The Diary of Alicia Keys, should put an end to all arguments between naysayers and fans. Suffused with a deep soul vibe, the disc capitalizes on the Harlem-born prodigy's gifts in every way. Start with the single "You Don't Know My Name," a mid-tempo burner of the kind seldom heard these days, which boasts a spoken interlude that's a perfectly timed emotional payoff (in an R&B sea of lame "intros," "outtros," and skits, Keys shows how it's done). Keys may have ushered in a wave of neo-soul with her Grammy wins, but few retro crooners try on as many '70s styles so successfully. She invokes gospel, piano blues, Burt Bacharach, Gladys Knight & the Pips, and the Isley Brothers -- even her collaboration with Timbaland, "Heartburn," is a note-perfect send-up of blaxploitation soundtracks. Keys doesn't rely on old-school sounds to signal her authenticity, however; her strikingly emotive vocals (the "If I Was Your Woman" remake is shades of, dare we say it, Mary J. Blige) and sensitive co-productions with Kerry "Krucial" Brothers do that. Only one clunker, the Lord of the Rings–decked "Dragon Days," tries too hard. Everywhere else, the piquant orchestrations and muscular funk make for a right-as-rain backdrop to Keys's romantic musings. It's easy to forget that she is accompanying herself on piano, as Aretha did, until she tosses off some virtuosic run or short, classically inspired instrumental. While Alicia Keys draws inspiration from the past, with Diary she can look forward to a long and promising career.

Editorial Reviews

Rolling Stone - Rob Sheffield
Keys evokes Gladys Knight ("If I Was Your Woman") and Dionne Warwick ("Walk On By"), but the seductive adult spell of "You Don't Know My Name" is all her own.
Entertainment Weekly - David Browne
As if recognizing the need to shake things up, The Diary of Alicia Keys kicks off with some of Keys' liveliest music. [B]
Blender - Kris Ex
Still a fresh face at 22, Keys has created an enthusiastic album full of masterful strokes and electrifying intensity.
New York Post
1/2 On this record, Keys shows nothing but love for traditional R&B and gospel, yet the record is stylistically diverse, displaying an equal talent for contemporary pop and hip-hop. Dan Aquilante
Daily News - Jim Farber
A Keys original like "If I Ain't Got You" has the full melody and shout-to-the-rafters chorus that fired songs like Aretha's "Ain't No Way." "You Don't Know My Name," mines the smooth soul of a Stylistics classic.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/16/2003
Label:
J-Records
UPC:
0828765571210
catalogNumber:
55712
Rank:
21210

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Alicia Keys   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Piano,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Multi Instruments,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
Barry Finclair   Viola
Eileen Folson   Cello
Stanley Hunte   Violin
Cindy Mizelle   Background Vocals
Timothy Christian Riley   Piano
Joe Romano   Horn
John Jubu Smith   Guitar
Peter Vanderwater   Viola
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
Andre Harris   Multi Instruments
Onree Gill   Hammond Organ,fender rhodes
Arcel Vickers   Organ
Lori Miller   Violin
Andricka Hall   Background Vocals
Steve Jordan   Drums
Vidal Davis   Multi Instruments
Kurt Briggs   Violin
Rich Harrison   Multi Instruments
L.C. Green   Background Vocals
Paul Alexandre John   Drums
Harold Lilly   Background Vocals
Gwendolyn Laster   Violin
Jerimiah "Jermaine" Paul   Background Vocals
Ricky Quinones   Guitar
John Legend   Background Vocals
Erika Rose   Background Vocals
Taneisha Smith   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Burt Bacharach   Composer
J.R. Bailey   Composer
Tony Black   Engineer
Sam Hopkins   Composer
Easy Mo Bee   Producer,Digital Programming
Ray Chew   String Arrangements,String Conductor
Hal David   Composer
Melvin Kent   Composer
Pam Sawyer   Composer
Timbaland   Producer
Andre Harris   Composer,Producer
Ann Mincieli   Engineer
Kanye West   Composer
Vidal Davis   Composer,Producer
Peter Edge   Executive Producer
Rich Harrison   Composer,Producer
Alicia Keys   Composer,Producer,String Arrangements
L.C. Green   Composer
Harold Lilly   Composer
Vincent Dilorenzo   Engineer
Chris LeBeau   Artwork
Wouri Vice   Assistant Hair Stylist
Candice Nelson   Composer
Erika Rose   Composer
Taneisha Smith   Composer
Walter W. Millsap   Composer,Engineer

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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The Diary of Alicia Keys 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alicia Keys started out as an inspiration to me from the very beginning. This album has amazing lyrics, vocals and piano chords. She couldn't have done any better.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rating: 4 1/2 stars (gave it 5 because 4 is too low). The album is great. Some songs sound too familiar with Songs in A minor (but that's a good thing, right?), but overall the album is magnificient with great percussion and a nice array of instruments (harpiscord, electric guitar). I think Mark Schwartz is wrong in regards to Dragon Days. Tries too hard? It sounds fine. What's wrong with a play of words? The electric guitar is nice and very catchy. A groovy jam in B-Flat minor (to me) sounds great. Lyrics are good...what's the problem. Oh well. I wish MORE artists would try this hard.
Guest More than 1 year ago
ALICIA GIRL YOU DID IT AGAIN, YOU ARE ON FIRE WITH THIS ALBUM ITS ABSOLUTELY GREAT KEEP DOING YOUR THING, YOU ARE VERY TALENTED AND YOU DESERVE MORE THAN 5 STARS...KEEP IT UP!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alicia Keys proved herself as a multi-talented musician with the release of her first album, Songs in A minor. Her follow up album matches her first in both quality and soul. With each song Alicia presents we see a different aspect of her life. She allows you to both see and feel what she does through her music. This is a talent not often seen in someone so young and also a breath of new life from the previous greats in her genre. More than anything Alicia Keys has real talent. This, paired with her inner and outer beauty, is sure to create even more award winning hits and a new following of both the young and the old.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've admired Alicia Keys since the first time I heard her sing Fallin. Her talent is as original as her style. Her music is unbelievably mature for such a young woman. The lyrics are thought provoking and for those of us that have been in love, we can truly relate. Like I said, she's bringing the pain!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Only this time, she puts alot more soul into this album. Her vocals are amazing, as always, and the piano on this record is very original and goes well with the smooth, sexy rhythms and urban beats. It seems as though this woman put alot of effort into "The Diary of Alicia Keys", it shows. It really does.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this album the first day it hit the shelf. I have the first album, and although I admire her for her talents, the second album is an effort from the first one. If you're an Alicia Keyes fan, you'll try to grasp your fingers on her unique style, with the neo-soul, as she takes us back with some other vibes, she even has some reggae in there, in the song 'Karma', which I really like. 'If I was your woman', 'You don't know my name', and ‘Wake up’ are songs that stay playing on my radio, matter of fact, the whole CD is one of my favorites among others I bought around this time. There are other nice in betweens that are just as lovely as well, and that you will definitely enjoy if you like her style as much as I do!!! :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellant go and get it
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alicia Keys awes us again with another great and superme album. Each track seems to introduce surfaced chapters in her life. Definitely a face lift for the music of today. Well done!
Guest More than 1 year ago
tHE CD SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, AND SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
keys, is a great singer/songer writter she shows her out look on the world it self. to me that's the way the world should look at it all. she showing her self ,21 yeal old looks at the world from startdom
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD is awesome! Alicia is truly an artist!
Guest More than 1 year ago
There was no doubt in my mind, after the success of "Songs In A Minor", that Alicia Keys would make a sound sophomore set. Her talent is a true gift. Unlike so many female artists who use their bodies as a marketing tool, her skill as a classically-trained pianist puts the exclamation point at the end of the statement: Now that's real music!("Harlem's Nocturne" is an impressive composition.) While the first single, "You Don't Know My Name", is still burning up the airwaves, buy this CD now and listen to track number six, "If I Ain't Got You", (one of my faves). Far beyond any of the bump-n-grind, you-cheated-on-me lyrics that saturate the airwaves today, A. Keys hits the right note with meaningful lyrics and a soulful sound.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely enjoy listening to Alicia Keys she has inspired me from the first time that i saw her on television and no-one can tell me anything to change my mind about her. i went to her concert and enjoyed watching perform infront of her audience she was so energetic i was sooooooo happy to see and would've loved to go back stage and meet her i wass soooooo happy when i was told that i was going to go see her at London Arena that i even cried.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I listen to Ms. Alicia Keys self-titled diary when I feeling blue and when I am empowered. It lifts me up to higher grounds. Her deep-rooted symphony of music allows one to feel the pain, empathy and happiness of it all. In her words, "What you say to me; Don't play with me; What goes around comes around; What goes up must come down". Enjoy the music and seductive sound of an artist who is truly unique and blessed with God-given talents.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A beautiful cd with very touchng lyrics. A nice break from all the booty shaking!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Song Heartburn is the best Dancing Song I have ever danced to in a long time cause i was at a dance recital and they did a awsome dance to heatburn Dang!!!! that dance just took the roof off so go out there and Buy Diary Of Alicia Keys you will be glad you did
Guest More than 1 year ago
Today it is very hard to find live instrumentation with young artist. Alicia Keys is multi-talented, she sings, she writes, she plays a powerful instrument, piano. She is just dynamic!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
alicia keys is slow minded she is a herpes infected woman lover
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alicia Keys continues to bring that "Soulful Sound" that reminds me so legedary artists like Areatha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, and Gladys Knight, and so on. I recommend this CD to anyone who wants to hear "real" music.
Guest More than 1 year ago
THIS ALBUM IS BEAUTIFUL, INTELLECTUAL, AND A CLASSIC.... MS. KEYS IS A WONDERFUL ARTIST.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I hear her sing "If I Ain't Got You" that song is for my 8 month old son, Tyler. I sing that to him & he smiles and it makes me cry. The words in that song are exactly the love that I feel for my son. It truly does make me cry.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow. Thats all I can say. Alicia keys has an amazing voice, and is even more amazing at playing the piano. She also seems like a good role model. Thanks for entering the music industry!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It used to come along once a year, now may be every other year if we're lucky: a stunning timeless record you can recommend to anyone. This is it. This is the one for 2002-2003. Alicia's 2nd album has it all. A beautiful mix between 70's R&B, Soul, Jazz, Hip Hop and contemporary R&B production. The single "You don't know my name" is a perfect indicator what else you can expect on the album. Perhaps it doesn't contain such wide spread radio singles such as "Fallin" but in her sophemore effort, Keys delivers a steady bunch of songs beautifully crafted and nicely flowing into one another. The quality of the songs are so even that ultimately I regard it as a better effort than her debut. Diary goes deeper than "songs in A Minor". The quality of her songs remains so steady that it leaves you wondering where it all comes from. This twenty something performer obviously doesn't only know how to play the piano and how to sing, her (co-) writing skills are just as memorable. Listening to Diary for a moment I thought I was in the 70's, then back in the 00's, etc. These days every self respecting R&B performer has a song on their album produced by Timbaland or the Neptunes. This is the weakest spot on "Diary". The album starts off with a nice short piano intro, the 2nd track is hardly memorable and the 3rd track is the upbeat Timbaland production. Even though the song sounds nice, with excellent rythm and percussion, it doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the album. As of track number 4 ("If I was your woman") Keys doesn't stop to amaze you all the way to track 15. Talking ("You don't know my name"), singing, belting and playing piano. It is clear Alicia Keys is a staying power. Please give us more of this. She makes all early twenty boppers such as Britney Spears look like plastic nobody-has-beens. Her quality is truly rare!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
As soon as I heard the song, "You Don't Even Know My Name," I knew I had to have this CD. This is one of those CDs that is an instant classic. To be honest, I prefer India.Arie's debut over Alicia Keys when the media was all hoo-ha over [Keys], but she really put her game face on and put out a CD that we'll be marveling at 20 years from now.