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Songs In A Minor

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In an entertainment era driven by hype and ego, the runaway popularity of Alicia Keys' 2001 debut Songs In A Minor was truly heartening. The 20 year-old classically-trained singer/songwriter won a huge audience with an understated yet potent blend of classic R&B, contemporary hip-hop and melodic pop. Onthese largely self-written, produced and arranged tracks, she keeps things real and intimate, singing with a restraint that only underscores her passion. With her sparse piano chords serving as underpinning, she adds atmospheric jazz("Butterflyz"), 1970s symphonic soul ("Rock Wit U") and tropical Latin rhythms ("Mr, Man," a duet with Jimmy Cozier) to the mix. Keys comes on sweet with a hint of venom on "Girlfriend" and offers a tough-minded ode to survival on "The Life." She teeters on the edge of desperation but retains her dignity on her cover of Prince's "How Come You Don't Call Me," one of the album's best tracks. Just as impressive is "Fallin," an elegant blues number with a mesmerizing hook. In "Caged Bird," the closing track, Keys hints at the suffering behind her songs. Whatever her sources of inspiration, Keys transformed them into something enduringly beautiful on Songs In A Minor.


Born: 25 January 1981 in New York, NY

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Alicia Keys became an international star with her singular mix of classic and contemporary R&B. Behind the number one pop hit "Fallin," her debut album, Songs in A Minor, sold more than 50,000 copies during its first day of availability in 2001 and eventually moved over ten million units worldwide, thus setting the stage for the then-20-year-old's long career. She was just behind D'Angelo and ahead of Norah Jones as the second singer, songwriter, and keyboardist to top the Billboard 200 during the...
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Songs In A Minor, Alicia Keys
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