This week marks the 10th anniversary release of Alicia Keys major label debut Songs In A Minor. A first-release that showcased not only one of the best albums of the last decade but one of the best artists too. New York’s finest came straight from Hell’s Kitchen, cooking up a heavenly sound. Alicia ruled the world of music with her huge, platinum classic. Stirring soul music, whilst bringing it to the popular, mainstream consensus. The epic, dramatic Piano & I intro tinkled us with her incredible, inspiring ivory skill, while the ODB sampling shimmy of Girlfriend (featuring Jermaine Dupri) and its funky foundations laid the groundwork for chart success. Still, it was the ultimate, timeless music classics that have kept this album in CD changers for years. Songs like the legendary rising Fallin‘ or the perfect Prince composition How Come You Don’t Call Me. Miss Keys really proved her value with A Woman’s Worth, setting the Aretha Franklin respect benchmark for rally-cry songs for females. The Nas and Busta Rhymes remixes of this and Fallin‘ respectively earned even more respect with its musical and lyrical dynamics and differences.
Unlike most big albums, it didn’t end there however. Alicia Keys kept going with us on Rock Wit U and made a name for herself with album favourites like Jane Doe or the freeing Caged Bird. Through Troubles, The Life, Never Felt This Way and Goodbye, Alicia went through it all on the 2001 release that lasted beyond the four seasons. Mr. Man showed more of this woman’s worth, as did the floating Butterflyz and the unquestionable Why Do I Feel So Sad. Even the hidden gem Loving You Is Easy was a real bonus. Not only was this disc a groundbreaking record for this young Manhattan made singer, it was also earth-shattering for music. Modern day rhythm and blues grew up in the new millennium and it hasn’t looked or sounded the same since.
Now after more classic songs (You Don’t Know My Name, No One, Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart), albums (The Diary, As I Am, Element Of Freedom) and great guest appearances (Eve’s Gangster Lovin’, Usher’s My Boo and Jay-Z’s Empire State Of Mind) A. Keys returns with the deluxe edition of her complete opening album. With enhanced content and new improvements on favourites like Butterfly , this bonus disc really stands out. The lead single Typewriter shows this singer/songwriter has plenty more left in keys, while the Original Funky Demo of The Diary entry If I Was Your Woman is a great take. As is the ALI Soundtrack Version of Fallin, which is as epic as the film itself, (just like her Fight song from the great Will Smith film about the boxing legend). The Mix-tape Version of Juiciest also packs a punch showing this New Yorker hits the tapes as hard as rap icon The Notorious B.I.G. While cementing her own N.Y. State of legend and legacy, Alicia Keys adds a little something extra to a perfect album. These big tracks just show us how much of a star and talent she is. On the decade anniversary of a modern-day great and all-round classic, Keys celebrates with decadence.