The Diary of Alicia Keys

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The Diary of Alicia Keys
The Diary Of Alicia Keys album cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedDecember 2, 2003 (2003-12-02)
Studio
  • Hit Factory Criteria (Miami)
  • Kampo (New York City)
  • KrucialKeys (New York City)
  • Plus XXX (Paris)
  • Quad Recording (New York City)
  • Sarm West (London)
  • The Hit Factory (New York City)
Genre
Length57:45
LabelJ
Producer
Alicia Keys chronology
Songs in A Minor
(2001)
The Diary of Alicia Keys
(2003)
As I Am
(2007)
Singles from The Diary of Alicia Keys
  1. "You Don't Know My Name"
    Released: November 18, 2003
  2. "If I Ain't Got You"
    Released: February 17, 2004
  3. "Diary"
    Released: June 29, 2004
  4. "Karma"
    Released: November 16, 2004

The Diary of Alicia Keys is the second studio album by American singer and songwriter Alicia Keys. It was released in the United States on December 2, 2003, by J Records. The album was recorded at several recording studios, and production was handled primarily by Keys with contributions from Kanye West and Kerry Brothers, Jr., who described it as "an R&B album".[1]

The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 618,000 copies in its first week. It became Keys' second consecutive number-one debut in the United States and spawned three top-ten singles. Upon its release, The Diary of Alicia Keys received generally positive reviews from music critics and earned Keys three Grammy Awards at the 47th Grammy Awards. With domestic sales of four million copies and worldwide sales of eight million copies, The Diary of Alicia Keys is the thirty-first best-selling album of the 2000s decade.

Background[edit]

Alicia Keys's 2001 debut album, Songs in A Minor, sold over 6.2 million copies and earned five Grammy Awards.[2] Due to the extreme popularity of her debut album, there was a lot of pressure on the album to match or exceed that success.[3] The album proved to be as successful as her debut album, and was nominated for two of the "big four" Grammy Awards: Song of the Year for "If I Ain't Got You", and Album of the Year. The album also sold over twice as many copies in its first week as Songs in A Minor.

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 618,000 copies, serving as Keys' second consecutive number-one debut in the United States.[4] It was the highest first-week sales by a female artist of the year and spent 88 weeks on the chart, leaving at number 198 in 2005. It has sold over 4.4 million copies in the US.[5] and more than 8 million copies worldwide.[6] The album's four singles, "You Don't Know My Name", "If I Ain't Got You", "Diary" and "Karma", reached the top twenty of the Billboard Hot 100, with three of them becoming top ten hits.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[7]
Blender4/5 stars[2]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music3/5 stars[8]
Entertainment WeeklyB[9]
The Guardian4/5 stars[10]
Los Angeles Times3.5/4 stars[11]
Q4/5 stars[12]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[13]
Uncut2/5 stars[14]
USA Today4/4 stars[15]

The Diary of Alicia Keys received generally positive reviews from critics; it holds an average score of 71, based on 17 reviews, at Metacritic.[16] The Times said that the album "confirmed her place in musical history".[17] Critics described Keys' music as neo soul and contemporary R&B.[18] Slant Magazine's Sal Cinquemani said that it "triumphs" the neo soul "achievements" of Songs in A Minor and is "a deft mix of modernism and classicism, not to mention street and class."[19] Q magazine called it "a proper soul album which hooks you with the first pneumatic beat and draws you deeper with every heady atmosphere and vivid emotion."[12] Jon Pareles, writing in The New York Times, claimed that "it has taken The Diary of Alicia Keys ... to testify that soul songwriting can survive" and felt that the album "echoes familiar soul sounds, but Ms. Keys sounds undaunted by her sources, and she's learning fast."[20] Rob Sheffield, writing in Rolling Stone, called the album "an assured, adult statement, steeped in the complicated love life and musical dreams of an ambitious young woman who has absorbed enough Nina Simone and Aretha Franklin records to live up to the soul promise of 'Harlem's Nocturne'."[13] Dimitri Ehrlich of Vibe said that Keys is able to "sustain drama over the course" of the "masterful" album, which appropriates the "minimalist" productions of classic soul.[21] Kris Ex of Blender called it "an enthusiastic album full of masterful strokes and electrifying intensity."[2]

In a mixed review, Josh Tyrangiel of Time said that the album's first six songs are "models of how to make nostalgic music that is not anti-present", but the second half "sags".[22] David Browne, writing in Entertainment Weekly, similarly said that the second half "drifts into a narcotized semi-slumber of one earnest, samey retro-soul piano ballad after another."[9] Laura Sinagra of The Village Voice felt that the album's songs lack hooks and other "surface content", sounding instead like unfinished vocal sketches.[23] Mark Anthony Neal of PopMatters said that it only shows "fleeting glimpses" of Keys' actual sensibilities and said that, although it "clearly evinces Keys’s growth as an artist since Songs in A Minor," the album is "clearly laboring to be relevant to the current marketplace and thus suffers from a serious lack of cohesion.[24] Alexis Petridis, writing in The Guardian, found it creatively safe and marred by "anodyne slow numbers studded with knowing references to old records".[10] Uncut found Keys' lyrics boring and filled with a "litany of cliche and hackneyed need-a-man" wailing.[14] Robert Christgau of The Village Voice rated the album a "dud",[25] indicating "a bad record whose details rarely merit further thought."[26]

Accolades[edit]

Blender magazine named it the seventh best album of 2004. Billboard placed the album fifty-fifth in the decade-end ranking of the most successful albums of the 2000s (decade). At the 47th Grammy Awards in 2005, The Diary of Alicia Keys won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Album and also earned Keys two other awards, including Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for "If I Ain't Got You" and Best R&B Song for "You Don't Know My Name". Keys also won two Soul Train Awards, Best R&B/Soul Single ("If I Ain't Got You") and Best R&B/Soul Album by a female artist.[27] In 2007, The National Association of Recording Merchandisers and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame released a list of what they term "The Definitive 200 Albums of All Time"; The Diary of Alicia Keys ranks at number 129 on the list.[28]The Diary of Alicia Keys album was ranked at number 129 on the New York Daily News's list of Top 200 Albums of All Time.[29]

Track listing[edit]

The Diary of Alicia Keys – Standard edition
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Harlem's Nocturne"Alicia KeysKeys1:43
2."Karma"
Brothers4:16
3."Heartburn"
3:28
4."If I Was Your Woman" / "Walk on By"3:06
5."You Don't Know My Name"
  • West
  • Keys
6:06
6."If I Ain't Got You"KeysKeys3:48
7."Diary" (featuring Tony! Toni! Toné!)
  • Keys
  • Brothers
Keys4:45
8."Dragon Days"KeysKeys4:36
9."Wake Up"
  • Keys
  • Brothers
Keys4:27
10."So Simple" (featuring Lellow*)
3:49
11."When You Really Love Someone"
  • Keys
  • Brothers
Keys4:09
12."Feeling U, Feeling Me" (Interlude)KeysKeys2:07
13."Slow Down"
  • Keys
  • L. Green
  • Rose
  • Keys
  • Kumasi
4:18
14."Samsonite Man"
  • Keys
  • Rose
  • Keys
4:12
15."Nobody Not Really"
  • Keys
  • Smith
Keys2:56
Total length:57:45

Note

  • *Alias for Alicia Keys[30]

Sample credits

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the album's liner notes.[31]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[67] Platinum 70,000^
Belgium (BEA)[68] Gold 25,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[69] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[70] Platinum 20,000^
France (SNEP)[71] Gold 100,000*
Germany (BVMI)[72] Platinum 200,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[73] Gold 10,000*
Italy (FIMI)[74] Gold 50,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[75] Gold 100,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[76] Platinum 80,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[77] Gold 7,500^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[78] Gold 20,000*
Sweden (GLF)[79] Gold 30,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[80] Platinum 40,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[81] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[82] 4× Platinum 4,000,000^
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[83] Platinum 1,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Country Date Label
United Kingdom December 1, 2003 J Records
Germany
France
Australia
United States December 2, 2003
Canada Sony Music
Japan December 12, 2003 BMG

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Augustin, Camille (December 4, 2018). "15 Years Later: The Oral History Of Alicia Keys' 'Diary of Alicia Keys' Album". Vibe. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Ex, Kris (January 2004). "Review: The Diary of Alicia Keys". Blender. New York (23): 98.
  3. ^ Norment, Lynn. "Alicia Keys: sounds off on men, love & fame." Ebony 59.3 (January 2004): 134(4). Expanded Academic ASAP. Gale. Hampton University Library. 26 November 2007.
  4. ^ Martens, Todd (December 10, 2003). "Keys Unlocks Second No. 1 Debut". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
  5. ^ Hope, Clover (January 24, 2006). "Keys Craves 'Strange As Hell' Collaborations". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved November 10, 2008.
  6. ^ Batey, Angus (November 10, 2007). "The ascent of Alicia Keys". The Times. London. Archived from the original on 2008-05-16.
  7. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Diary of Alicia Keys – Alicia Keys". Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-09-20.
  8. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). "Alicia Keys". The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0857125958.
  9. ^ a b Browne, David (2003-12-05). "The Diary of Alicia Keys Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2009-09-20.
  10. ^ a b Petridis, Alexis (November 27, 2003). "CD: Alicia Keys, The Diary of Alicia Keys". The Guardian. London. Friday Review section, p. 23. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
  11. ^ Hilburn, Robert (2003-11-20). "Accomplished at 22, finding her own path". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2009-09-20.
  12. ^ a b "Review: The Diary of Alicia Keys". Q. London: 111. January 2004.
  13. ^ a b Sheffield, Rob (2003-12-02). "The Diary of Alicia Keys". Rolling Stone. New York. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
  14. ^ a b "Review: The Diary of Alicia Keys". Uncut. London: 72. February 2004.
  15. ^ Anon. (January 17, 2004). "The Critics Love December's #1 Album!". Billboard. p. 2. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
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  19. ^ Cinquemani, Sal (2003-12-03). "Alicia Keys: The Diary Of Alicia Keys". Slant Magazine. Retrieved on 2009-09-20.
  20. ^ Pareles, Jon (2003-12-07). "Alicia Keys Fights For Soul's Survival". The New York Times. Retrieved on 2009-09-20.
  21. ^ Ehrlich, Dimitri. "Review: The Diary of Alicia Keys". Vibe: 127–128. February 2004.
  22. ^ Tyrangiel, Josh (2003-12-08), "The Princess of Queens". Time. 162 (23):89
  23. ^ Sinagra, Laura (2003-12-30). "Singing School". The Village Voice. Retrieved on 2009-09-20.
  24. ^ Neal, Mark Anthony (2003-12-11). "Alicia Keys: The Diary of Alicia Keys". PopMatters. Retrieved on 2009-09-20.
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  26. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000). "Key to Icons". Robert Christgau. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
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  70. ^ "Danish album certifications – Alicia Keys – The Diary of Alicia Keys". IFPI Denmark. Retrieved 18 March 2019. Scroll through the page-list below until year 2019 to obtain certification.
  71. ^ "French album certifications – Alicia Keys – The Diary of Alicia" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
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  75. ^ "Japanese album certifications – Alicia Keys – The Diary of Alicia Keys" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  76. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Alicia Keys – The Diary of Alicia Keys" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 18 March 2019. Enter The Diary of Alicia Keys in the "Artiest of titel" box.
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  81. ^ "British album certifications – Alicia Keys – The Diary of Alicia Keys". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 18 March 2019. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type The Diary of Alicia Keys in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  82. ^ "American album certifications – Alicia Keys – The Diary of Alicia Keys". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 18 March 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  83. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 2004". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 18 March 2019.

External links[edit]