What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this easy-on-the-ears pop album displays Alicia Keys' vocal talents beautifully. There's a bit of heavy breathing and innuendo, but mostly there's a lot of very good singing. In the role-model department, young girls could do a whole lot worse.
What's the story?
Alicia Keys isn't above a gimmicky moment or two on THE DIARY OF ALICIA KEYS. The thing is, even the gimmicks work on this lovely album. There's a long spoken section on "You Don't Know My Name," for example, in which Keys plays the part of a waitress ("You know, the one with the braids?") taking a huge risk and calling one of her regular customers for a date. A silly conceit, but it ends up sounding pretty real when she fesses up that even though the restaurant manager will "be trippin' talkin' about we gotta use water," she makes this guy's hot chocolate with milk and cream because she thinks he's sweet. We've all been there, in that heart-pounding rejection-risking moment, and there's nothing wrong with sharing such feelings of vulnerability once in a while.
Is it any good?
The music and messages that Keys delivers are of her usual high standards. In "Slow Down," she urges her lover -- and perhaps herself, too -- to take things a little slower. A little contrived, with soft, sexy vocals playing against a classic makeout-room musical arrangement, but the message is there, loud and clear, for girls to hear. Alicia Keys' stunning vocals, set against exquisite piano interludes and dramatic string arrangements, make this diary a true keepsake.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about creating powerful music while keeping it clean. Do lyrics need to have swearing or sexual references to stand out?