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Recorded at The BAM Harvey Theatre on July 14th, Alicia Keys Unplugged features Alicia Keys performing her hits from her current and debut albums. Alicia Keys Unplugged also features new music from Alicia as well as special guest appearances by Adam Levine (Maroon 5), Common, Mos Def, and Damien Marley. An unforgettable night of music and Alicia at her best, Alicia Keys Unplugged is a true testament of her amazing talent.
Personnel: Alicia Keys (vocals, piano); Arthur White (guitar); Gwen Laster, Mariana Green Hill (violin); Anne-Marie Bedney (viola); Eileen Folson (cello); David Watson (flute, saxophone); Joe Romano (trumpet, flugelhorn); Jeff Dieterie (trombone); Onree Gill (keyboards); Steve Mostyn (bass instrument); Paul John (drums); Pablo Batista (percussion); Jerimiah "Jermaine" Paul, Anaysha Figueroa, Sarah Devine, Denise Stoudmire (background vocals).
While most performers benefit greatly from studio technology, some shine the brightest in an unadorned live setting. As 2005's MTV UNPLUGGED reveals, Alicia Keys is one of the latter--she's a nuanced singer and gifted pianist whose talent is showcased on this impressive concert outing. Here Keys takes many of the R&B-rooted songs from her first two albums and gives them dynamic live treatments, throwing in a few deft cover tunes to keep the set varied and unpredictable.
Maroon 5's Adam Levine stops by for a spare rendition of the Stones' "Wild Horses," resulting in a duet that brings to mind a youthful collaboration between Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin, while the closing track incorporates Damian "Junior Gong" Marley's "Welcome to Jamrock," with Marley (one of Bob's sons) and rappers Common and Mos Def joining the party. However, Keys is at her best on her own songs, as displayed by the soulful "If I Ain't Got You," which builds to uplifting gospel-tinged heights, and "Fallin'," a wonderfully melancholy tune that showcases Keys's passionate vocals.
Entertainment Weekly (No. 844, p.148) - "...[T]he most cohesive of her three albums...." - Grade: B
Intro Alicia's Prayer
Woman's Worth, A
How Come You Don't Call Me
If I Was Your Woman
If I Ain't Got You
Every Little Bit Hurts
Streets Of New York (City Life)
Wild Horses - (featuring Adam Levine)
You Don't Know My Name
Love It Or Leave It Alone / Welcome To Jamrock - (featuring Mos Def/Common/Damian "Junior Gong" Marley)