Alicia Keys

Unplugged (J-Records)

Alicia Keys must have been doing a lot of performing before the taping of her performance on MTV's Unplugged, because her voice sounds horribly strained and stressed on Unplugged's first track, the anthemic "Karma." But Keys's voice warms up as the set progresses, and by the time she reaches "A Woman's Worth," she is as smooth as ever. On the new song "Unbreakable," Keys sings about a strong couple persevering through tough times: "We could act out like Will and Jada/Or Kimora and Russell making paper/All in a family like the Jacksons/And have enough kids to make a band like Joe and Katherine." The escalating and tumbling piano introduction of "If I Ain't Got You" is absolutely beautiful. Keys's voice is strong and intense as she ends her set with stirring performances of "Diary," "You Don't Know My Name," and "Fallin'." Unplugged is an enjoyable live album and a must-have for fans of the piano-playing songstress.

 
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