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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 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 Ringsdecked "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.
Performance CreditsAlicia 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
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
John "Jubu" Smith Guitar
Technical CreditsBurt 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
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
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Diary of Alicia Keys based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
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!!!!!
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.
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!!!
tHE CD SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, AND SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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.
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!
A beautiful cd with very touchng lyrics. A nice break from all the booty shaking!
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.
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!!! :)
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!
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.
This CD is awesome! Alicia is truly an artist!
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.
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.
Excellant go and get it
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
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.
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
i *really* like alicia keys, but i really wasn't blown away by this cd. at first, i really didn't like it. but eventually a lot of songs grew on me and i really like them now. i still like the first one better but this album seems like she's more mature. i really like "diary" "you dont know my name" and "when you really love someone". at first i hated these songs but they grew on me: "karma" and "if i ain't got you". like i said, i like alicia keys but i don't think this is the best, thats why i gave it 3 stars. i do think she's very talented though. i hope to hear great things from her in the future
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!
Dear diary........ Alicia Keys is an amazing artist hu has tru talent with in herself!She keeps on gettin better n better n Mz Keys has really out dun her self wiv dis album.Evry track is diffrent n der isn't a day dat i dnt listen 2 it. She has inspired in many ways n im evn learnin hw 2 play the piano.Mz Keys needs 2 keep on doin wot she duz bes!xXxXxXxXxXxXxXxX
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.
I love this album from the beginning to the very end. I have been a fan from the door and she has not dissapointed with this one. I love the way she incorporates the Old school sound into her own style without overdoing it! If you have a love for authentic music along with beautiful vocals ( not too mention the entertaining DVD) then pick this up...quickly!!!
THIS ALBUM IS BEAUTIFUL, INTELLECTUAL, AND A CLASSIC.... MS. KEYS IS A WONDERFUL ARTIST.
Alicia Keys is so cool, she visited my sick brother in the hospital once. she's like, a national treasure. Her new cd Diary of Alicia Keys is like, totally jive.