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The Best You Never Heard: The A, B, Cs of Alicia Keys

alicia keys The Best You Never Heard:  The A, B, Cs of Alicia Keys

Since her 2001 introduction with ‘Songs In A Minor’, 14-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys has been making major moves on the music scene.  Aside from sharing stages and studio time with legends Prince, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Bono, and more, Keys has earned the respect of and played co-star to many of today’s contemporary stars (i.e. Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, Timbaland, etc).

With anticipation of her nearly completed 5th album, today – her 31st birthday – That Grape Juice seeks to salute the songstress who made it cool to keep your clothes on tickle the keys again.

Her catalog may boast some of the noughties’ biggest hits like ‘Fallin’,’If I Ain’t Got You’,  ‘No One’, and more, but there are some gems that sunk in the shadows of her more acclaimed numbers.

Get into a few of these after the jump:


‘Love Is My Disease’ – The Element of Freedom

If for whatever reason you’ve ever thought to doubt the vocals of Alicia Keys, ‘Love Is My Disease’ should make you rethink such doubt.  Hailing from her 2009 set ‘The Element of Freedom’, Keys conquers this tune with a gritty display of emotion and urgency.  A combo that is a staple in most of her offerings, ‘Disease’ is just another SICK illustration of Keys growth since her 2001 debut.

‘Lesson Learned’ ft. John Mayer – ‘As I Am’

Alicia Keys enlisted fellow singer/songwriter John Mayer to back-up this 2007 cut ‘Lesson Learned’.  A stirring performance, Keys tells the tale of a broken-hearted girl who’s had a little too much of enough.  Starting off with the chilling line ‘He broke my heart/And now it’s raining just to rub it in…’ – its a breakup classic.  Get into it below:

‘Go Ahead’ – ‘As I Am’

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.  Adding fuel to the fire is if that woman just so happens to be a praise singer-songwriter who can turn the story into a head-nodding tune.  Such combination is what certainly gives ‘Go Ahead’ – this number from Keys’ 2007 junior album ‘As I Am’ – its power.  A cut that we’re sure every Mary J fan can dig, take a listen below:

‘Samsonite Man’ – ‘The Diary of Alicia Keys’

It’s the quintessential tale of the rolling stone.  A fan favorite from her sophomore set, Keys gave fans a key into her diary in this personal collection of tunes.  Sit back and groove to Alicia’s narrative of the man who just couldn’t find a home.

Sound off below! What are some of your favorite AK cuts we missed?

Your thoughts?

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37 Comments

  • January 25, 2012 at 10:06 pm
    Rome says:
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    Now where is How It Feels to Fly???

    Reply

  • January 25, 2012 at 10:19 pm
    a*** says:
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    ALICIA KEYS CANNOT SING.

    Reply

  • January 25, 2012 at 10:22 pm
    J says:
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    Nobody Not Really is one! By far one of her best lyrically and musically!!!

    Reply

  • January 25, 2012 at 10:42 pm
    Almond Joy says:
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    Heartburn
    Harlem Nocturne
    Feelin U, Feelin Me
    So Simple
    Wake Up
    Butterflyz
    The Life
    Rock With You
    Rear View Mirror
    Every Little Bit Hurts
    Stolen Moments
    I Need U
    Where Do We Go From Here
    Thing About Love
    Sure Looks Good To Me
    Wreckless Love
    Prelude To Kiss
    Love Is Blind
    Wait Till You See My Smile

    Reply

  • January 25, 2012 at 10:48 pm
    truciebedford says:
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    Lesson Learned will forever be a fav track of mine. Everything on the Element of Freedom as well. That was a beautiful album!

    Reply

  • January 25, 2012 at 11:03 pm
    YoEarn says:
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    How It Feel to Fly is GENIUS. So beautifully written and arranged. Butterflyz, Diary, Like You’ll Never See Me Again, Pray For Forgiveness, Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart, You Don’t Know My Name, and of course Unthinkable ( I’m Ready ). I absolutely LOVE my Queen.

    Reply

  • January 25, 2012 at 11:07 pm
    Anita says:
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    I like every song she sings but from the last album definitely “Love is Blind and “Pray for Forgiveness” are big favorites. “That’s how Strong My Love Is” and “This Bed” are also favorites from that album.

    The “As I Am” album has several favorites also. “Go Ahead”, “Wreckless Love”, “Sure Looks Good to Me” , and probably the best unnoticed song “Where Do We Go From Here”.

    The “Diary” album: “Wakeup” is one that shouldn’t have gone ununticed. It is beautiful. But the best songs on that album are “If I Ain’t Got You” and “Diary”.

    Songs in A MInor: Wow this was a great album but the unnoticed songs that were great were: “Troubles”, “Goodbye”, “Butterflyz”, and “Never Felt This Way”.

    The “Unplugged” album unnoticed song was “Stolen Moments”. Very very nice!

    Reply

  • January 25, 2012 at 11:32 pm
    Jayla says:
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    How It Feels To Fly

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  • January 26, 2012 at 12:04 am
    C says:
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    “Love Is My Disease” is my JAM!!! Thanks TGJ for recognizing this. This song was definitely a highlight on “Element Of Freedom.” Love, love, love it!

    Reply

  • January 26, 2012 at 12:09 am
    crazy says:
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    the comment response to whoever*a**** is: MY MAMA CAN SING SO WATCH YO MOUTH!!! LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT ALONE,THANX! ,:-!

    Reply

  • January 26, 2012 at 12:34 am
    Jasmine says:
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    I agree Alicia Keys cannot sing. She is a good songwriter though but vocally one tone/key so that means she can only carry a tune. One thing I like about her is that she tries to keep her music soulful which has worked to her favor tremendously so far but if she went pop I would still buy her album because in all of her songs the lyrics are good (well except for that song with Beyonce – that one was just dumb)

    Reply

  • January 26, 2012 at 1:36 am
    number1k9 says:
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    SOOOO Glad “Lesson Learned” is on here. I am NOT a big fan, let alone fan of Alicia Keys, always have found her to be overrated, especially vocally….. but very musically talented….Really only like her songs… A concert of hers would bore me to death prob…

    Well ANYWAYS… “Lesson Learned” should have been a single. SUCH a great song, and I think tho “Superwoman” grew on me, “LL” should have been the 4th single from ‘As I Am.’

    Reply

  • January 26, 2012 at 2:02 am
    Another Star says:
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    I Love Alicia shes another one of my faves.Ive supported her everysince day one.”Unthinkable” Unbreakable,Love Is My Disease,A Real Man and many many more.Empire State Of Mind “New York” with Jay-Z is my joint too.I will be getting her album and if she tours I will be there as well.

    Reply

  • January 26, 2012 at 3:14 am
    azerty says:
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    cannot wait for her new album!!!!!

    Reply

  • January 26, 2012 at 3:22 am
    aisha aguilera keys says:
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    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, A! Can’t wait for the album! I love the first two songs u mentioned Sam, the last two not so much. One of my all time fave A Keys song is Where Do We go from Here, so many emotions are felt when I hear that song. Thanks for the post, Sam!

    Reply

  • January 26, 2012 at 3:44 am
    aklove says:
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    Reading comments like ‘She can’t sing’ or ‘Going to one of her show must be boring’ I just want to answer WTF!!
    Let me tell you something, if you say these things is that you NEVER saw her live. She’s a hell of an entertainer, a true performer. SO yeah she’s not moving her a** like crazy or trying to be a beyonce-like, she’s just her, a classy, energic and amazing performer.
    For those who think she can’t sing, go to youtube watch some of her performances and go back here tell us how surprised you are!
    And what ‘can’t sing’ means? Imma tell you. Rihanna can’t sing, Britney can’t sing, Katy Perry can’t sing… and I can go on.
    SO stop judging when you don’t know what ur talking about this is really annoying!

    Anyways, If I have to pick a fav on each album I would say “troubles” from SIAM, “When you really love someone” TDOAK, “Unbreakable” UNPLUGGED, “Go ahead” As I Am and “Pray for forgiveness” TEOF

    She’s a true artist and a very generous woman who really cares for people, we have to respect that.

    Reply

  • January 26, 2012 at 4:17 am
    azerty says:
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    @AKLove

    You better preach!

    Reply

  • January 26, 2012 at 4:48 am
    Lax says:
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    She’s beautiful and one of the best of the best, her song
    “FALLIN” Is by far one of the best songs ever, just her
    and her piano and you can’t beat that with a Stick.

    Reply

  • January 26, 2012 at 4:52 am
    Lax says:
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    Alicia have not been nipped and tucked what you
    see is what you get and even though you have
    never seen her play her piano/baby grand with her
    toes wear meat/do any stripper moves shes still
    elegant, classic and memorable to boot!

    Reply

  • January 26, 2012 at 5:01 am
    Phittedphilly says:
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    Reply

  • January 26, 2012 at 5:05 am
    Lax says:
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    Many artist has been trained, taught and gone to the best schools there is
    Then there’s others who worked by themselves then there was other’s who
    had the backing of a group and STILL YET There’s many who came from the
    GROUND UP IF YOU GET MY DRIFT…
    THEN,,,,,,,,There are many who has had the best of the best and they are still
    FLOPPIN LIKE A FISH OUT OF WATER On the charts and they let ADELE FROM THE UK COOK, BAKE, AND STIR FRY THEIR MANY MUSIC ALBUMS/SINGLES AND MUSIC VIDEO.S .
    Lady Gaga is basicly new to the game and “LOOK AT HER NOW” SHE HAS
    Done herself very well for herself and her label.

    AND THERE IS RIHANNA Who hails from the CARRIBEANS And she has done very well for herself and her label
    Yall betta ask somebody, we have VERY TALENTED WOMEN/MEN WHO’S DOING THEIR OWN THING IN THEIR VERY OWN WAY

    Alicia does her thing and she’s as cool as a cucumber and covers the ground she walks on i was reading some place where she got paid 25 Million $$$$ fro that vitamin water that same company that 50 is connected with and only saw it in one place WRITTEN SHE KNOW HOW TO KEEP HER BUSINESS TO HERSELF
    RIHANNA WILL DO EVEN BETTER IN HER CAREER IF SHE KEEP HOLDING HER BUSINESS DOWN AND OF COURSE HOLD HER $$$$$ AND THAT PArt of her business down so that she want do all of this hard ass work and get talked about like a dog and not have her BUSINESS AND $$$$$ MONEY ON LOCK WITH HER MONEY ON LOCK SO SHE WANT END UP BROKE, BUSTED AND ON WELFARE LIKE ALL OF THE WELFARE QUENNS AND KINDS WHO FIGHT HER AND HER CAREER DAY AFTER DAY IF SHE PUT HER $$$$ MONEY WHERE THE HATERS
    MOUTHS ARE THEN RIHANNA WILL BE DOING 100 IN THE SHADE….
    MAKE YOUR MONEY COUNT ARTIST AND DON’T END UP BROKE AND BUSTED LIKE THE HATERS WHO HATE ON YOU ARE……..

    Reply

  • January 26, 2012 at 6:12 am
    doitright says:
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    Honestly Beyonce did her pregnancy right. Beyonce had everything set up and prepared.

    Alicia could have done so much with Element of Freedom but her pregnacy messed it up.

    Like where is put it in a love song music video and all of the other good songs.

    Reply

  • January 26, 2012 at 6:30 am
    Anita says:
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    Please get over that video. And who cares how Beyonce did her pregnancy. THIS SI NOT ABOUT BEYONCE! Alicia handles her business very well, thank you.

    Reply

  • January 26, 2012 at 7:35 am
    DareToDeal says:
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    Stealicia off-keys = limited vocal skills along with her home-wrecking reputation.

    Reply

  • January 26, 2012 at 9:33 am
    BeyFan says:
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    I never thought Akeys had a great voice. Her live performances were always hit and miss….most of the time a miss

    BUT, lyrically I love what she does. She creates classic songs effortlessly. Definitely legendary.

    Reply

  • January 26, 2012 at 11:58 am
    fatu sankoh says:
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    i just love beyonce i cant wait for our bey next project i missed her so much all ready god bless protect bey baby blue ivy c jay and their family for life long live the queen

    Reply

  • January 26, 2012 at 1:09 pm
    joe says:
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    I’m a huge fan of AKeys and this was a cool shout-out to her body of work. It’s hard forreal to pick a #1 favorite from her just because how MANY great tracks she’s put out. The best I can do is choose my top 3 from her: 1- Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart (which I’ll never understand why it wasn’t a bigger hit) 2- Like You’ll Never See Me Again 3- The Thing About Love. Alicia Keys is in my mind a future legend in the music industry..

    Reply

  • January 26, 2012 at 3:09 pm
    heavyrotation says:
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    Lesson Learned
    Goodbye
    These two remain my favorite A. Keys songs, she brings something that most artist CANNOT bring to a song… …EMOTION

    Reply

  • January 26, 2012 at 3:42 pm
    Stephanie says:
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    A. Keys IS a very good & talented artist (singer, songwriter, producer)…I whole-heartedly agree with The Juice’s list & here’s a few more to add to the list…(1) Wake Up (2) How It Feels to Fly (3) Love Is Like the Sea (4) Tell You Something (5)Heartburn (6) When You Really Love Someone (7) Wreckless Love…there’s absolutely no denying this woman’s talent & I’m looking forward to her next cd.

    Reply

  • January 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm
    Stephanie says:
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    Oh, I forgot, Wait Til You See My Smile (love that song)!!! :-)

    Reply

  • January 26, 2012 at 4:12 pm
    aklove says:
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    Ok so here are a few different performances of different songs.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUYikToUnVM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSYJmoYFDZ8
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEKZL3mjctQ&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g–uH_2h2r8&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYE0tG6X15c
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ff4BWVQDqk&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ff4BWVQDqk&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5pZjQM2IkY
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INkmUab8xwo&feature=related

    Now tell me she can’t sing!!!! that’s unbelievable. vocally limited?? Well it’s always been live and as far as live goes it’s never p.e.r.f.e.c.t. It’s funny to see that these negative comments about her vocal skills are coming from beyonce fans. Beyonce is amazing vocally, but she started her solo career by doing lots of playback. So what’s worse?

    Reply

  • January 26, 2012 at 5:13 pm
    Angie says:
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    Songs In A Minor: Troubles, Never Felt This Way (Interlude)

    As I Am: I Need You, Tell You Something

    The Element Of Freedom: Love Is Blind

    Reply

  • January 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm
    Angie says:
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    Where Do We Go From Here is my ish as well.

    Reply

  • January 26, 2012 at 5:51 pm
    There is enough place for every artist - Stans stop hating others says:
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    For me her best album yet was THE DIARY OF ALICIA KEYS. The other albums were just good.

    Reply

  • January 26, 2012 at 9:07 pm
    zed says:
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    try sleeping with a broken heart was my fave song of 2010. it deserved worldwide success, did well in Europe. Surprsied it wasnt big in USA. Wiat till you see my smile , if it had a proper video and promotion, it deserved to be huge

    so glas, Alicia has got a mention, apart from the likes of Adele and a few others, ive been really bored with the ikes of Rihanna, Lady Gaga etc. Alicia Keys is miles better than any talent out there and only Adele comes close. cannot wait for the abum this year!!!

    Reply

  • January 27, 2012 at 1:26 am
    R&Blover says:
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    The Element Of Freedom:
    this is not my favourite AK album, but Love Is My Disease is my TUNE, i got crazy about the songs from the very beginning.
    then Distance and Time and That’s How Strong My Love Is

    As i Am:
    my favourite AK along with Songs in A minor
    I think there’s only one song i didn’t really like much in the record and it’s wreckless love. But I appreciate all the songs. My favourites are: Lessons Learned, Tell You Something, I Need You, Go Ahead, prelude To a Kiss, Superwoman, No One (Wait isn’t it the whole album??? :D)

    Songs In A Minor:
    I’ve recently listen to it because i didn’t remember listening to it and I rediscoverd it.
    Favourite song: Goodbye (just pure greatness), Butterflyz, Jane Doe, This Woman Worth

    Reply

  • January 27, 2012 at 6:56 pm
    Anita says:
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    @FATU SANHOH – Why do you visit an AK article to talk about Beyonce? Don’t you think your time would be better spent visitng an article about Beyonce? I’m sure there are plenty so why come here to boast , bless and profess your love for her? It’s not like any AK fan would even care and surprise surprise there are mostly AK fans reading this. We don’t care what you think of Beyonce., so go, go on now.

    @AKLOVE- You’re right, anyone who would think AK couldn’t sing Is evidently not listening. Anyway why would they feel it necessary to make that kind of statement when they can just listen to who they want. I can honestly say I have never visited and sites, articles, YouTube, just to say I DON”T like someone’s voice. What a waste of time.

    Reply

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