The Diary of Alicia Keys

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Reviewer

Bob Waliszewski

Album Review

Pro-Social Content

Keys deems fame, money and power worthless compared to her man (“If I Ain’t Got You”). A desire for romantic love also drives “If I Was Your Woman/Walk on By,” “You Don’t Know My Name” and “Dragon Days.” “Wake Up” and “So Simple” attempt to get relationships back on track. The former asks, “You used to be my closest ally in this cold, cold world of deception and lies … Are we gonna wake up, my baby, before it’s too late?” “When You Really Love Someone” preaches unconditional love. The singer has no patience for a rambling “Samsonite Man.” Similarly, “Karma” warns an uncommitted partner that “what goes around comes around.” Unfortunately …

Objectionable Content

Its title refers to the Eastern belief that one’s actions will impact a future life. That song and others find the unmarried singer making nonexplicit allusions to sexual intimacy, such as “Lay your head on my pillow … When you’re in town why don’t you come around” (“Diary”). On “Slow Down,” Keys wants to delay physical activity, not until she says “I do,” but until she’s “sure that I’m sure.”

Summary Advisory

Except for the karma reference and a few sweet nothings needing marital context, this Grammy-winner’s smooth urban stylings convey positive messages. Of greater concern may be the immodesty and mild profanity on the bonus DVD packaged with some copies of this CD.

Bob Waliszewski
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