Songs in A Minor


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Bob Waliszewski

Album Review

Pro-Social Content

“Rock Wit U” pledges faithfulness through good and bad times (“Dead broke, no job, no house, no ride/I’m gonna stay right by your side”). On “Butterflyz” and a hidden track, Keys praises her true love for making her feel special. Plagued by “Troubles,” she looks heavenward for answers. “Piano & I” promotes perseverance, while “A Woman’s Worth” reminds listeners, “You can’t go wrong when you value a woman,” however . . .

Objectionable Content

Both of these songs use the s-word, and the latter refers to “making love” without a clear marital context (the artist is single). Being in a committed relationship doesn’t keep Keys from flirting—and entertaining thoughts of a one-night stand—on “Mr. Man.” Regardless of the singer’s intentions, many listeners will object to her use of a racial slur (“Jane Doe,” “Girlfriend”). A woman sees little reason to press on through life’s struggles, confessing madness and a sense of hopelessness (“The Life”).

Summary Advisory

Classical training and diverse urban stylings sent this talented young lady straight to the top. Cut from a similar cloth as Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu, Keys scores points for decent themes, then loses them for inappropriate language. If she can overcome this and other Minor problems, her next release could be an unqualified winner.

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Bob Waliszewski