Alicia's in my Top 5 female artists. I respect her voice, music and the fact that produces and writes her music. A real artist. I love her but I can rarely get through a whole album. I just can't. I get to a point where her voice grates on me everytime I listen to her albums. This happens to me with Mary J. and Celine as well.
So I usually listen to individual songs from each album.
She has a fantastic voice and it'll be interesting to see how it develops. I noticed in live performances that it has become kinda rough but it's understandable. She's singing and overusing it for so many years now. Her piano skills are exceptional and add to her class and quality as an artist.
Here's how I'd rank her albums:
#1. The Element Of Freedom
#2. The Diary Of Alicia Keys
#3. As I Am
#4. Songs In A Minor
My favorite A. Keys album is "The Element Of Freedom". Wonderful work but admittedly less soulful than her previous albums. "Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart" is a total classic already. I love the i-Heart radio live performance. "Pray For Forgiveness" is simply stunning, "Through It All", "Un-thinkable (I'm Ready)", "Like The Sea", "Love Is Blind", "Distance And Time", "Through It All" are the other highlights on the album for me. I like the duet with Beyonce, "Put It In A Love Song" but it sounds so out of place and as I've said before, although I love Bey more than Alicia, Beyonce's presence that particular song anyway cheapens TEOF's whole vibe.
"As I Am" is also a very good album. "Teenage Love Affair" (the performance on Ellen with the "choreography" is awesome
) , "Wreckless Love", "Lesson Learned", "Prelude To A Kiss", "Where Do We Go From Here", "Saviour" are my favorites there. I despise "No One". I always found it extremely overrated. I'm glad it was a huge hit for her though.
"The Diary Of Alicia Keys" is great. So many gems in there. "If I Ain't Got You" is one of the best songs EVER recorded, the passion in her voice the music... just brilliant! "You Don't Know My Name" is outstanding and unique. I love how she breaks down the song and starts talking. It exudes soul. I love the belting after it. Other highlights: "Karma", "Diary", "When You Really Love Someone", "Medley If I Was Your Woman/Walk on By".
"Songs In A Minor" is my least favorite but it still has some terrific songs. "Fallin'" is obviously her signature song and I love it. "Rock Wit U", "Girlfriend", "Why Do I Feel So Sad", "Goodbye" are some of my favorites. My most favorite though is "How Come You Don't Call Me"! It's so dynamic, laid back and really cool. When she growls "tell me baby baby baby" I'm floored! I loooove it. Another special track is "Butterflyz" so soothing and emotional.
My favorite A. Keys video has got to be "You Don't Know My Name". I love the storyline. Also, "Teenage Love Affair" and "Un-thinkable (I'm Ready)".
I don't know what I'd like to hear on the next album. Maybe try a little bit more Blues and combine it with her trademark Soul and her latest poppier direction. I'm sure it will be a great album though, considering Alicia has only offered solid releases so far.
I hope she has a girl who looks just like her! Random...