Back in 2001, it was almost impossible to miss the buzz that surrounded singer/songwriter Alicia Keys. Sure, much of it was hyperbole: but it was impossible to deny the fact that she was a unique bird in the pop music scene. While the image of a self-sufficient female singer/songwriter/instrumentalist may have been common back in the days, that ideal became less prevalent as we transitioned into the 21st century. Alicia was a throwback, but with a modern edge. The album was a critical and commercial success, scoring Alicia a Best New Artist Grammy and three hit singles, including the #1 smash “Fallin'”. Over the course of four studio albums and a live set and ten years, she’s become one of the most dependable artists in the music industry, with a slew of industry honors and millions of records sold.
On June 28th, a tenth anniversary edition of Alicia’s Songs in A Minor will be released. The album will be released in several versions, some including a bonus disc featuring unreleased content and alternate versions. There will also be a DVD included in some versions, featuring content including a documentary detailing the making of Songs in A Minor and the road that led to Alicia’s success. You can view a trailer of the documentary below. I dig Alicia quite a bit, but I don’t know, this film (complete with appearances by the usual bunch of record executives who seem to want to promote themselves as much as their artists) seems a little overblown to me. I mean, it’s a good album, but is it iconic in the way that, say, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill or Mary J.’s My Life is? I don’t know if I can co-sign that.
One thing that’s undeniable is that Songs in A Minor marked the debut of a unique and enduring talent, and that alone (well, that and the desire to hear music that got left in the can from this time period) might make this reissue worth picking up.