No matter how successful his or her debut is, every artist worries about the dreaded sophomore jinx. Alicia Keys has no need to worry about that.
No matter how successful his or her debut is, every artist worries about the dreaded sophomore jinx. Alicia Keys has no need to worry about that. The songstress handily tops "Songs in A Minor," her much-hyped 2001 debut, with "The Diary of Alicia Keys." A self-described "old soul," Keys channels spirits of '60s and '70s soul for "Diary." On "Heartburn," she blends soul and funk with pleasing results. Need more proof? Check out lead single "You Don't Know My Name." Produced by Keys and Kanye West, the track embodies a nostalgic vibe with a street edge. She even tries her hand at covering classics by Gladys Knight and Dionne Warwick with "If I Was Your Woman/Walk On By." What Keys lacks in vocal prowess she more than makes up for with attitude and musical proficiency. Keys showcases the latter while dabbling in classical with the serene "Harlem's Nocturne." Other highlights include "So Simple" and "If I Ain't Got You."—RH