Alicia Keys Unplugged

Music review by
Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Common Sense Media
Alicia Keys Unplugged Music Poster Image
Favorite songs with new acoustic arrangements.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Some gently positive, socially-conscious messages.


Just a bit of innuendo.


MTV tie-in.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Alicia Keys keeps it light and family-safe on this made-for-TV live album.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byStephygirl April 9, 2008
Teen, 13 years old Written bysara4ever95 February 16, 2009

What's the story?

Alicia Keys' third album, ALICIA KEYS UNPLUGGED, recorded live at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, isn't really unplugged (unless you want to call a 16-piece backup band \"unplugged\"), but it's lovely, personal, and intimate. The producers at MTV couldn't have chosen a better artist to revive their \"unplugged\" series than Keys. Her talents, both vocally and on keyboard, are allowed to shine with less glossy production. One highlight is a duet with Maroon 5's Adam Levine on the Rolling Stones' \"Wild Horses\"; another is \"You Don't Know My Name.\" Both songs offer a change in atmosphere from the versions we've all got stuck in our head, and both work beautifully.

Is it any good?

If arrangements seem loose and a little unstructured, Keys' excellent band keeps the groove strong and steady, the background vocals are exquisitely arranged, and the songs well-chosen. Her Brooklyn-accented speaking voice is charming and real as she introduces the songs and makes a genuine effort to connect with her audience. At its best, the unplugged Alicia Keys offers a personal glimpse inside the heart of a beloved and extremely talented young artist, and fans will adore this glimpse behind the curtain. The rest of us can sit back and enjoy the music.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether they like "unplugged" versions of songs. They can compare the musical arrangements here with the same songs on the artist's studio CDs. How are the moods and meanings different here? Does plugging in give a song more power? Why or why not? What artists seem to translate well in an acoustic performance?

Music details

  • Artist: Alicia Keys
  • Release date: October 11, 2005
  • Label: J Records
  • Genre: R&B
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: July 15, 2015

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