Alicia Keys Song In A Minor

Twenty-year-old singer/songwriter Keys has been the beneficiary of some publicity that has seemingly turned her into an overnight sensation, but behind the smoke and mirrors there is some genuine talent. A few years ago, in a break from booty-shaking videos, BET showed a Christmas special featuring a very young Alicia Keys effortlessly banging out a re-arranged version of "Little Drummer Boy" on the ivories. This link to past recordings pervades her debut in a lot of instances. The riffs from James Brown ("Fallin'"), Isaac Hayes ("Rock Wit U"), and the Prince cover of "How Come You Don't Call Me" are so obvious that they end up distracting attention away from her own skills, which can effortlessly merge classical training into her own b-girl stance. An obvious move to net as wide a demographic as possible, the real litmus test for Keys will be to see where she goes next. (BMG)