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A 4.5 Diamond.
Steve Guardala | ????? | 04/23/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Alicia's album is a fine gem, here the slightly scaled back sound allows her vocals to shine. She occasionally goes from the Piano to Organ with equal dexterity. "Fallin," gets a semi-operatic treatment here. Her voice sounds more balanced than on her first album.
She gives a more seductive tone to "Diary & If I Ain't Got You." The former is one of my all time favorites. In "Streets Of New York," the first part with her recitation is ok, but the second part with it's jazzy tones blend well with her more controlled voice. "Stolen Moments," could have been a bit better since it was co-written by the king of R&B, Al Green. She belts out Prince's "How Come You Don't Call Me Anymore" with a near furious vocal. Some will not like her version of Gladys Knight's "If I Was Your Woman?" But, for me it was almost equal to the original. Then again, Alicia could sing the names in the phonebook & I would applaud. I feel she truly shined with Brenda Holloway's "Every Little bit Hurts." She seemed very in tune with the feel of this song as the emotion came through.
Her duet with Adam Levine doing the Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses" was ok. His nasal tone did not blend that well with Alicia's voice. When she sings "You Don't Know My Name," it is juiced up a bit with the organ. This may be my all time favorite of her songs? When I minus the Hip Hop tunes which just don't appeal much to me, "Unplugged" ends up being very good. Her vocals are more mature & the reduced arrangements play to the bands talents. A solid 4.5."