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http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/17ad1f653335866452b9485e42936e417fd692e1.jpg Unplugged

Alicia Keys

Unplugged

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3 0
October 20, 2005

On her first live album, Alicia Keys plays around with her mannered retro arrangements and turns out seven previously unrecorded songs. Hits such as "Fallin' " groove easily with just a hint of indulgent operatics, and on "Heartburn" Keys exploits the catch in her voice for a punch-and-jab session with her crack band. The guests don't do much to remedy the album's duller moments: Keys calls on Common, Mos Def and Damian Marley for the closing "Love It or Leave It Alone/Welcome to Jamrock," which is sort of like trying to spice up a cocktail party by trotting out Noam Chomsky. Unplugged's clear high point, however, is "Unbreakable," a new original and one of the best Seventies-sitcom themes never written. Amid a megacatchy chorus, Keys invokes famous black couples before deciding her love is just fine, once again sounding older than her years and perfectly round-the-way.

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