Unplugged (Alicia Keys album)

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Unplugged
Live album by Alicia Keys
Released October 7, 2005 (2005-10-07)
Recorded July 4, 2005; at
Brooklyn Academy of Music
(Brooklyn, New York City, New York)
Genre R&B, soul, jazz, poetry
Length 72:22
Label J
Producer Alicia Keys, Peter Edge, Jeff Robinson (exec.)
Alex Coletti
Alicia Keys chronology
The Diary of Alicia Keys
(2003)
Unplugged
(2005)
As I Am
(2007)
Singles from Unplugged
  1. "Unbreakable"
    Released: September 13, 2005
  2. "Every Little Bit Hurts"
    Released: January 2006

Unplugged is the first live album (third overall) by American recording artist Alicia Keys. It was recorded as part of the television program MTV Unplugged on July 4, 2005 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Brooklyn, New York City, and released in the United States on October 11, 2005 by J Records, including songs from her multi-platinum albums Songs in A Minor and The Diary of Alicia Keys. The album debuted on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart at number one, with first-week sales of 196,000 copies in the U.S.[1] and over 245,000 copies worldwide—the highest debut for an MTV Unplugged album since Nirvana's 1994 MTV Unplugged in New York and the first Unplugged by a female artist to debut at number one. The album has sold over one million copies in the United States and over 2.5 million copies worldwide. Additionally, it received four nominations for the 2006 Grammy Awards, including Best R&B Album.

The first single released from the album was "Unbreakable", which peaked at number thirty-four on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and number four on the U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The second single, "Every Little Bit Hurts", was released in January 2006. The video premiered on January 17 on BET's 106 & Park. The album and DVD includes songs from her multi-platinum albums Songs in A Minor and The Diary of Alicia Keys.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[2]
BBC Music (positive)[3]
Entertainment Weekly B+[4]
The Independent (average)[5]
Jam! 3.5/5 stars[6]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[7]
PopMatters (5/10)[8]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[9]
Slant Magazine 3/5 stars[10]
USA Today 4/4 stars[11]

Upon its release, the album received generally positive reviews from most music critics, based on an aggregate score of 65/100 from Metacritic.[12] E! Online gave the album an A− and said of Alicia Keys: "She might be unplugged--but she's still electrifying."[12] Entertainment Weekly said that the album "largely leaves Keys' runaway careerism in the dressing room, where it belongs."[4] Blender gave it four stars out of five and called it "a stellar set."[13] Q gave the album four stars out of five and said it "Stands as an apt reminder that she is the finest soul talent of her generation."[12] Billboard gave it a favorable review and said, "This self-assured, illuminating 'MTV Unplugged' performance underscores Keys' boundless passion for her craft."[12] Los Angeles Times gave it three stars out of four and said, "The problems in this 72-minute package come chiefly when the exquisite singer-songwriter moves to what you'd think would be the creative heart of the album: material that isn't on her earlier CDs."[7] Stylus Magazine gave it a B− and stated: "I’m definitely recommending Unplugged--with reservations, but it’s still a recommendation--but damn, I just wish the fun Keys seems to have on stage would translate more clearly to record."[14]

Other reviews are pretty average or mixed:Rolling Stone gave it three stars out of five and said the album "bursts with sweet soul that seems to feed off the adoring crowd."[9] Allmusic also gave it three stars out of five and stated: "An abbreviated 'You Don't Know My Name,' truly a producer's creation, falls flat here, and she treats covers of Gladys Knight's 'If I [Were] Your Woman' and 'Every Little Bit Hurts' like vocal auditions and not the blank canvases of an interpretive artist."[2] Neumu.net gave it four stars out of ten and called it "Just another bloated arena show."[15] Uncut gave it two stars out of five and said, "Keys hasn't the charisma to indulge in the inter-song banter here, which breaks up any soulful flow that might develop despite her sharp, hectoring vocals."[12]

Accolades[edit]

At the 48th Grammy Awards in 2006, Unplugged earned Keys four nominations; Grammy Award for Best R&B Album, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song for "Unbreakable", Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for "If I Was Your Woman".

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 and Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, with first-week sales of 196,000 copies, serving as Keys' third consecutive number-one debut in the United States. The album's two singles, "Unbreakable", reached the top ten of the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart, and final single "Every Little Bit Hurts", it failed to enter the U.S. and international charts.

Track listing[edit]

CD and DVD
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Intro Alicia's Prayer" (Acappella) Hymn, Traditional 1:11
2. "Karma"   Kerry Brothers, Jr., Alicia Keys, Taneisha Smith 2:10
3. "Heartburn"   Keys, Tim Mosley, Walter Millsap III, Candice Nelson, Erika Rose 3:03
4. "A Woman's Worth"   Keys, Rose, Ernie Isley, Christopher Jasper, Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley, Marvin Isley, O'Kelly Isley, Jr. 3:30
5. "Unbreakable"   Keys, Kanye West, Harold Lilly, Garry Glenn 4:34
6. "How Come You Don't Call Me"   Prince 5:23
7. "If I Was Your Woman"   Gloria Jones, Clarence McMurray, Pam Sawyer 4:04
8. "If I Ain't Got You"   Keys 4:06
9. "Every Little Bit Hurts"   Ed Cobb 4:01
10. "Streets of New York (City Life)"   Keys, Smith, Eric Barrier, Nasir Jones, Chris Martin, William Griffin 7:35
11. "Wild Horses" (featuring Adam Levine) Mick Jagger, Keith Richards 6:04
12. "Diary"   Keys, Brothers, Jr. 5:53
13. "You Don't Know My Name"   Keys, West, Lilly, James Ralph Bailey, Melvin Kent, Ken Williams 3:35
14. "Stolen Moments"   Keys, Brothers, Jr., Lamont Green, Wah Wah Watson 5:14
15. "Fallin'"   Keys 5:10
16. "Love It or Leave It Alone/Welcome to Jamrock" (featuring Mos Def, Common, Damian Marley & Friends) Lorenzo DeChalus, Derek Murphy, Charles Davis, Kirk Khaleel, Joseph Williams, Damian Marley, Stephen Marley, Ini Kamoze 6:42
Total length:
72:22

Sample credits

  • "A Woman's Worth" contains a sample of "Footsteps in the Dark" by The Isley Brothers (Ernest Isley, Christopher Jasper, Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley, Marvin Isley, O'Kelly Isley, Jr.)
  • "Unbreakable" contains a sample of Eddie Kendricks' "Intimate Friends" (Garry Glenn)
  • "Streets of New York (City Life)" contains a sample of "N.Y. State of Mind" by Nas (Eric Barrier, Nasir Jones, Chris Martin, William Griffin)
  • "You Don't Know My Name" contains a sample of "Let Me Prove My Love to You" by The Main Ingredient (J. R. Bailey, Mel Kent, Ken Williams)
  • "Love It or Leave It Alone" contains a sample of "Love Me or Leave Me Alone" by Brand Nubian (Lorenzo DeChalus, Derek Murphy, Charles Davis) and "Latoya" by Just-Ice (Kirk Khaleel, Joseph Williams)

Charts and certifications[edit]

Chart procession and succession[edit]

Preceded by
All the Right Reasons by Nickelback
U.S. Billboard 200 number-one album
October 29, 2005
Succeeded by
I Am Me by Ashlee Simpson
Preceded by
The Day After by Twista
U.S. Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums number-one album
October 29, 2005
Succeeded by
Trill by Bun B

Release history[edit]

Country Date Label
Germany October 7, 2005 J Records
France October 10, 2005
United Kingdom
United States October 11, 2005
Canada Sony Music
Australia October 17, 2005 Sony BMG
Japan October 26, 2005 BMG

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitmire, Margo (October 19, 2005). "Keys 'Unplugs' For 3rd Straight No. 1 Disc". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved June 7, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2005-10-11). "Unplugged - Alicia Keys". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  3. ^ Egere-Cooper, Matilda. "Music - Review of Alicia Keys - MTV Unplugged". BBC Music. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  4. ^ a b David Browne (2005-10-10). "Unplugged Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  5. ^ Gill, Andy (2005-10-07). "Album: Alicia Keys (Unplugged, J Records)". The Independent (London). Archived from the original on 2008-12-02. 
  6. ^ Darryl Sterdan (2005-10-21). "CANOE - JAM! Music - Artists - Album Review: UNPLUGGED". Jam!. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  7. ^ a b Hilburn, Robert (2005-10-09). "Young Keys and her good old songs". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  8. ^ Cibula, Matt (2005-10-27). "Alicia Keys: Unplugged". PopMatters. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  9. ^ a b Hoard, Christian (2005-10-20). "Unplugged". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  10. ^ Cinquemani, Sal (2005-10-13). "Alicia Keys: Unplugged". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  11. ^ Jones, Steve (2005-10-10). "Even 'Unplugged,' Alicia Keys' talents are electric (Alicia Keys, Unplugged)". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  12. ^ a b c d e "Critic Reviews for Unplugged". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^ Inskeep, Thomas (2005-10-18). "Alicia Keys - Unplugged - Review". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  15. ^ Carew, Anthony. "Alicia Keys: Unplugged". Neumu.net. Archived from the original on 2005-02-25. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Alicia Keys – Unplugged". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 19, 2008. 
  17. ^ "European Top 20 Charts – Week Commencing 31st October 2005". Music & Media. Pandora Archive. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Musicline.de – Chartverfolgung – Alicia Keys – Unplugged". Media Control (in German). PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Top 75 Artist Album, Week Ending 20 October 2005". Irish Recorded Music Association. Chart-Track. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Classifica Artisti – Classifica settimanale dal 14-10-2005 al 20-10-2005" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry. Retrieved October 4, 2008. 
  21. ^ "Unplugged – Alicia Keys" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved November 29, 2008. 
  22. ^ "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży". OLiS. October 24, 2005. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  23. ^ "Chart Stats – Alicia Keys – Unplugged". The Official Charts Company. Chart Stats. Archived from the original on May 26, 2012. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  24. ^ "Alicia Keys Album & Song Chart History" Billboard 200 for Alicia Keys. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
  25. ^ "Alicia Keys Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums for Alicia Keys. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
  26. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl - Jaaroverzichten 2005". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 4, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl - Jaaroverzichten 2005". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 4, 2011. 
  28. ^ "2005 Year End Charts – The Billboard 200". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. November 26, 2005. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  29. ^ "2005 Year End Charts – Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. November 26, 2005. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  30. ^ http://www.aria.com.au/pages/ARIACharts-Accreditations-2006DVD.htm
  31. ^ "CRIA: Gold & Platinum – February 2005". Canadian Recording Industry Association. February 18, 2005. Retrieved April 18, 2008. 
  32. ^ "List of works certified in February 2006". Recording Industry Association of Japan. February 2006. Retrieved November 11, 2010. 
  33. ^ "Goud/Platina" (in Dutch). NVPI. Archived from the original on December 2, 2008. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  34. ^ "RIAA – Gold & Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America. January 25, 2008. Retrieved April 18, 2008. 
  35. ^ "RIAA – Gold & Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America. November 22, 2005. Retrieved October 26, 2010.