Alicia Keys is a modern-day Renaissance woman--a 15-time Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter/musician/producer, an accomplished actress, a New York Times bestselling author, a film, television, and broadway producer, an entrepreneur, and a powerful force in the world of activism.
Since the release of her monumental 2001 debut album, songs in A minor, Keys has sold over 30 million records and built an unparalleled repertoire of hits and accomplishments. Keys resides in the New York City area with her husband, producer/visionary and entrepreneur Swizz Beatz, and their children.
Adult/High School-Keys has sold millions of copies of her CDs and has won multiple Grammy Awards. Here, she shares the lyrics from these discs, as well as a collection of poems from her journals and notebooks. After several of the poems, she offers readers glimpses of her mindset and inspiration for her writings. Sadly, these poems read like what they are-journal entries from a young woman-and they don't have great insight or clever wordplay. (There's no "moon/June" here, but there is "cry/die" and "cry/goodbye" and "cry/fly.") Even her song lyrics, so powerful when accompanied with lush piano arrangements, come across as banal when unadorned with instrumentation. However, both their creator and their subject matter will give these simple selections immense appeal with a teen audience. The writer talks about insecurities, personal growth, loneliness, and love-good, bad, long-distance, and unrequited. These topics are the stuff of creative writing projects. Like Ashanti's Foolish/Unfoolish (Hyperion, 2002), Keys's poems will attract her fans and perhaps encourage them to explore poetry.-Jamie Watson, Harford County Public Library, MD Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Multiple-award-winning songstress Keys shares her most intimate thoughts in this first collection, drawn from her journal and CDs. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
No doubt Keys has a fascinating story to tell-raised by a single mother, she's a classically trained, New York born-and-bred neo-soulster with two multiplatinum albums and five Grammys to her name-but she merely hints at it in this gathering of poems and lyrics. With their themes of loneliness, confusion, wonder and desire, most of Keys's free-verse poems could be the cris de coeur of any American 20-something: "Sometimes I feel/ like I don't belong anywhere/ And it's going to take so long/ for me to get somewhere/ Sometimes I feel so heavy-hearted/ but I can't explain/ cause I'm so guarded." But other poems hint at her world travels, her budding sense of social justice and her concerns about stardom ("When gone is the glory/ When gone is the shine/ Is gone the whole/ Of your fortune and pride?"). Nearly half of the book consists of lyrics from her two albums, Songs in A Minor and The Diary of Alicia Keys; while they make a nice complement to the poems, the words feel a bit flat without the blaxploitation beat of "Heartburn," say, or the impassioned vocal delivery of "Fallin.' " For the Keys completist, however, this will be a compelling book of rock ephemera. Agent, David Vigliano. (Nov.) FYI: Putnam plans to release another volume of Keys's writings in fall 2005. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.