When Clive Davis left Arista, he knew he had to start all over again in music.He knew he had to find somebody fresh and new. As Alicia Keys entered her way into the music industry, she set a whole different tone for the music industry. At the time, the music industry was filled with Corporate and Manufactured Pop Music, from artists like Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez. Sadly, there was absolutely no taste and essence of Soul music anywhere on the charts. It was just an absolute missing piece that didn't fit anywhere. Still, Alicia Keys kicked that door down, and reminded people about the rhythm-like styles of Roberta Flack and Aretha Franklin all in one record.
Her debut, and the debut record for J Records, Songs In A Minor is an unbelieveable and dynamic feel of what the true essence of Soul music feels like. Unlike all of those Teen Idols, Alicia puts not just looks, but substance and the ability to write and play the music with the piano and a dash of elegance. The music blends with Hip Hop Soul, and Contemporary R&B in the mix. The songs greatfully range from down and in a storm, with songs like Troubles, Caged Bird, and Goodbye, all the way to songs of love and seduction, with tracks like A Woman's Worth, Fallin', the 2002 Grammy-winning Song Of The Year, and Butterfliez. It is just a beautiful record that everyone really has to listen to. It wasn't until the new record came out, that I listened to the first one first, and boy was it worth the price.
Forget about Britney Spears, forget about Jennifer Lopez and get rid of Jessica Simpson. Those artists are first and most of all, manufactured. Alicia Keys is absolutely the real deal. I definitely think this is one of the best R&B records that is out there at this time, even though it has been awhile since it debuted. Songs In A Minor has to be one as a must-have for anybody who loves definitive and New Old-school Soul.