2001 album from the R&B/Pop singer/songwriter. Songs In A Minor sold more than 12 million albums worldwide and garnered Keys with her first five Grammy Awards including Best New Artist, Best Song of the Year for 'Fallin', and Best R&B Album.
She may be beautiful, but Alicia Keys is a musician first and foremost. She plants herself firmly behind the piano keys on her debut, unlike many of the booty-waggin' junior divas who are crowding the R&B videoscape these days. Though many of the tracks on Songs in A Minor
are embellished with adolescent angst, this 20-year-old's substantial, gorgeously soul-drenched alto putties the cracks between notes with astonishing ease. "Fallin'," the album's first single, showcases Keys at her best. She wails plaintively and passionately over rolling blues chords, in the tradition of the greats that this young talent clearly wants to align herself with--Stevie Wonder
, Donny Hathaway
, and Aretha Franklin
. She swoops and soars over the spicy, flamenco-fueled melody that opens "Mr. Mann," one of the many winning tracks gathered here. And she digs deep into a remake of the beloved Prince
B-side, "How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore?" packing more heat into her melismatic wails than most singers twice her age. --Sylvia W. Chan