November 3, 2005

Test Spin: Alicia Keys

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I’ve always regarded MTV’s “Unplugged” series with a suspicious attitude. I never got over my 2002 purchase of Lauryn Hill’s MTV Unplugged No. 2.0 because although the two-disk album delivered piles and piles of Hill’s introspective music, acoustic style, I just never really got into it.

Now fast forward to 2005 when the pure sound queen herself, Alicia Keys decides to release an unplugged album. You can imagine my uncertainty as I contemplated this album with my obviously biased eye. Was it going to be more filler or just more reiteration?

But luckily for me, Unplugged, Alicia Keys style was fantastic. Classic hits like “Fallin'” and “You Don’t Know My Name” make their obligatory appearances but are rejuvenated by Keys’ freshly passionate style and delivery. Other pleasant surprises include a duet with Maroon 5’s Adam Levine on “Wild Horses” and guest star appearances from Mos Def and Common on the album’s last track.

Archived article by Tracy Zhang
Arts and Entertainment Editor