A Woman's WorthThere was a Lauryn Hill shaped hole in my heart in the years between her debut solo album, "The Miseducation . . ." and the MTV Unplugged acoustic album released in 2002. Thankfully, during her absence, Alicia Keys came along. Hal Davis, the president and CEO of the Songwriters Hall of Fame announced today that Alicia Keys will receive the Starlight Award, which honors gifted songwriters in the early years of their careers, at the 2005 Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards gala.
Alicia Keys stands out among the waste that proliferates as American pop music. Beyond the obvious reasoning that she is a trained classical musician, she is also able to inhabit a song and give it life. Most starlets on the music scene today know how to decorate the video. Some can even reasonably mimic the notes of an "improvised" trill to give the effect of vocal competence. However, few if any have proven any adeptness as soul music artisans. Alicia Keys is the exception.
It is surprisingly difficult to craft a good pop/soul song. Lyrically, the song should be simple, but not trite. It should be able to reveal the heart, not the cliche, of an emotion. It is not (or should not be) as simple as plugging the appropriate adjective into the equation. If it was so elementary, then there wouldn't be a difference between: "I don't wanna bore you with it, oh, but I love you. I love you. I love you," and "I just called to say 'I love you'."
This video is from a song on "Songs in A Minor." Cuz a real woman knows a real man ain't afraid to please her.
Sing it girl.