J Records/Arista
Ranking 9/10

The release of Alicia Keys' debut album, Songs in A Minor has found amazing success. This success can be credited to the album's first single,"Fallin'," which after the first listen, felt like an R&B classic. Since then, Alicia Keys has made a splash into the industry to which most artists can only aspire.

Alicia Keys is an amazing individual. Not only has she captivated America with the amazing single "Fallin'", but what few people realize is that she wrote, produce, arranged and played all instruments (except Violin) for the track. Basically, she's a one-woman wrecking crew. She's able to mix R&B, soul, luscious piano, impressive beats, and an amazing voice all into one amazing album! In fact, she produces or co-produces every track on the album, with the exception of the Brian McKnight-produced, "Goodbye". Jermaine Dupri shares production duties on the upbeat and infectious, "Girlfriend", as does Jimmy Cozier on "Mr. Man". And you'll be sure to feel the funk influence of Isaac Hayes on "Rock Wit U". "How Come You Don't Call Me" provides an amazing blend of a piano, drum and Alicia's captivating voice, as she master's this rendition of the Prince song.

Alicia Keys' amazing piano and production skills allow her to take Songs in A Minor to a whole new level. The album's combination of soul, slow R&B and upbeat R&B, provide appeal to all hip hop and R&B enthusiasts. If for you, the hit single "Fallin'" wasn't proof enough of Alicia Keys' skillful artistic ability, then I guarantee that her next singles will kill any doubts. Songs in A Minor was a very impressive album chalked full of future R&B classics.

Click here to buy the album or read CDNow's album review.

(Originally posted on

This review was written September 13, 2001