The Alicia Keys Rate: WINNER REVEALED

Hello Popjustice and welcome to the Alicia Keys discogra -

Hey now, hold up a minute!

Don't think I don't see you heading back out to the 'Charts, rates etc' sub-forum. Look, I know Alicia Keys isn't exactly a PJ forum fave but she really does have some excellent, fairly PJ-friendly material. Here, take a peek / remind yourself of what AK can do if you don't believe me:







And that's not even scratching the surface of her catalogue, if we're being honest. There are gorgeous piano ballads (admittedly maybe one or two too many for most people's tastes...), smooth R&B jams, piano-driven soaring pop anthems - when Alicia gets it right there's an awful lot to appreciate, whatsoever your personal preferences.

I'm going to save you the artist write-up for now because I'd say AK's record speaks for itself: more Grammys than you could have any real use for (including one for Girl On Fire which was, admittedly, a choice), the only African-American female coach to have won The Voice US (which is sort of impressive I think, considering the core audience is one which normally votes for Blake Shelton regardless), 6 consecutive top 2 studio albums in the US (plus an additional number 1 live album) and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Alicia's written songs for the likes of Whitney Houston and Christina Aguilera and played piano / produced for names as prominent as Madonna and Kanye West. Now the time has come for us, as a collective, to decide which parts of this talented lady's oeuvre are worth the acclaim and which should have been left on the cutting-room floor.

The rules are standard: please score every track between 0 and 10, awarding a single 11 to your favourite song. Half-points are allowed and commentary will be welcomed with enthusiastic open arms.

I will post the list of songs we'll be rating (and the deadline for you to send your scores to me) in a second post when I have a moment. As those of you who are familiar with Alicia's work will know, there's quite a lot to get through. So, with that in mind I will accept scores from participants who only wish to rate the singles as well as those of you who intend to commit to ranking everything. Please though, if you think you'll have the time try and send me scores for everything. I'd love to have as many of you taking part as possible.

The stage is set and I am ready to step back into the ring and make this the most enjoyable rate I possibly can, so if you're at all interested please do take part. At the very least I can promise a smattering of album trivia, AK's best live performances and (no doubt) the verbal brutalising of anyone who low-balls my own favourite tracks. Really, for what more could you possibly wish - ?
 
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AliciaKeys-01SongsInAMinor.jpg

Songs In A Minor (2001, 2011)

01) 'Piano & I'
02) 'Girlfriend'
03) 'How Come You Don't Call Me'
04) 'Fallin''
05) 'Troubles'
06) 'Rock Wit U'
07) 'A Woman's Worth'
08) 'Jane Doe'
09) 'Goodbye'
10) 'The Life'
11) 'Mr. Man' (feat. Jimmy Cozier)
12) 'Never Felt This Way (Interlude)'
13) 'Butterflyz'
14) 'Why Do I Feel So Sad'
15) 'Caged Bird'
16) 'Lovin' U'
17) 'Rear View Mirror'
18) 'Juiciest [Mixtape Version]'
19) 'Ghettoman' (feat. muMs da Schemer)
20) 'Typewriter'
21) 'I Won't (Crazy World)'

AliciaKeys-02TheDiaryOf.jpg

The Diary Of Alicia Keys (2003)

01) 'Harlem's Nocturne'
02) 'Karma'
03) 'Heartburn'
04) 'If I Was Your Woman / Walk On By'
05) 'You Don't Know My Name'
06) 'If I Ain't Got You'
07) 'Diary' (feat. Tony! Toni! Toné!)
08) 'Dragon Days'
09) 'Wake Up'
10) 'So Simple'
11) 'When You Really Love Someone' (feat. Lellow)
12) 'Feeling U, Feeling Me'
13) 'Slow Down'
14) 'Samsonite Man'
15) 'Nobody Not Really'
16) 'Streets Of New York' (feat. NaS & Rakim)

AliciaKeys-03Unplugged.jpg

Unplugged (2005)

01) 'Unbreakable [Live]'
02) 'Every Little Bit Hurts [Live]'

AliciaKeys-04AsIAm.jpg

As I Am (2007, 2008)

01) 'As I Am (Intro)'
02) 'Go Ahead'
03) 'Superwoman'
04) 'No One'
05) 'Like You'll Never See Me Again'
06) 'Lesson Learned' (feat. John Mayer)
07) 'Wreckless Love'
08) 'The Thing About Love'
09) 'Teenage Love Affair'
10) 'I Need You'
11) 'Where Do We Go From Here'
12) 'Prelude To A Kiss'
13) 'Tell You Something (Nana's Reprise)'
14) 'Sure Looks Good To Me'
15) 'Waiting For Your Love'
16) 'Another Way To Die' (with Jack White)
17) 'Doncha Know (Sky Is Blue)'
18) 'Saviour'

AliciaKeys-05TheElementOfFreedom.jpg

The Element Of Freedom (2009)

01) 'Love Is Blind'
02) 'Doesn't Mean Anything'
03) 'Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart'
04) 'Wait Til You See My Smile'
05) 'That's How Strong My Love Is'
06) 'Un-Thinkable (I'm Ready)'
07) 'Love Is My Disease'
08) 'Like The Sea'
09) 'Put It In A Love Song' (feat. Beyoncé)
10) 'This Bed'
11) 'Distance And Time'
12) 'How It Feels To Fly'
13) 'Empire State Of Mind (Part II) Broken Down'
14) 'Through It All'
15) 'Pray For Forgiveness'
16) 'Stolen Moments'
17) 'Heaven's Door'
18) 'Lover Man'
19) 'We're Almost There'

AliciaKeys-06GirlOnFire.jpg

Girl On Fire (2012)

01) 'De Novo Adagio (Intro)'
02) 'Brand New Me'
03) 'When It's All Over'
04) 'Listen To Your Heart'
05) 'New Day'
06) 'Girl On Fire'
07) 'Fire We Make' (feat. Maxwell)
08) 'Tears Always Win'
09) 'Not Even The King'
10) 'That's When I Knew'
11) 'Limitedless'
12) 'One Thing'
13) '101'

AliciaKeys-08HereText.jpg

HERE (2016)

01) 'The Beginning (Interlude)'
02) 'The Gospel'
03) 'Pawn It All'
04) 'Kill Your Mama'
05) 'She Don't Really Care_1 Luv'
06) 'Illusion Of Bliss'
07) 'Blended Family (What You Do For Love)' (feat. A$AP Rocky)
08) 'Work On It'
09) 'Girl Can't Be Herself'
10) 'More Than We Know'
11) 'Where Do We Begin Now'
12) 'Holy War'
13) 'Hallelujah'
14) 'In Common'

AliciaKeys-Sing31InCommon-1.jpg

Extras

01) 'Gangsta Lovin'' (Eve feat. Alicia Keys - 2002)
02) 'My Boo' (with Usher - 2004)
03) 'Don't Give Up (Africa)' (with Bono - 2005)
04) 'Dreaming' (2009)
05) 'Empire State Of Mind' (Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys - 2009)
06) 'Speechless' (feat. Eve - 2010)
07) 'Better You, Better Me' (2013)
08) 'It's On Again' (feat. Kendrick Lamar - 2014)
09) 'We Are Here' (2014)
10) 'We Gotta Pray' (2014)
11) '28 Thousand Days' (2015)
12) 'Powerful' (with Jussie Smollett - 2015)
13) 'Back To Life' (2016)
14) 'That's What's Up' (2017)
15) 'Place To Call My Own [AK Version]' (2017)

001) 'Piano & I' -
002) 'Girlfriend' -
003) 'How Come You Don't Call Me' -
004) 'Fallin'' -
005) 'Troubles' -
006) 'Rock Wit U' -
007) 'A Woman's Worth' -
008) 'Jane Doe' -
009) 'Goodbye' -
010) 'The Life' -
011) 'Mr. Man' -
012) 'Never Felt This Way (Interlude)' -
013) 'Butterflyz' -
014) 'Why Do I Feel So Sad' -
015) 'Caged Bird' -
016) 'Lovin' U' -
017) 'Rear View Mirror' -
018) 'Juiciest [Mixtape Version]' -
019) 'Ghettoman' -
020) 'Typewriter' -
021) 'I Won't (Crazy World)' -
022) 'Harlem's Nocturne' -
023) 'Karma' -
024) 'Heartburn' -
025) 'If I Was Your Woman / Walk On By' -
026) 'You Don't Know My Name' -
027) 'If I Ain't Got You' -
028) 'Diary' -
029) 'Dragon Days' -
030) 'Wake Up' -
031) 'So Simple' -
032) 'When You Really Love Someone' -
033) 'Feeling U, Feeling Me' -
034) 'Slow Down' -
035) 'Samsonite Man' -
036) 'Nobody Not Really' -
037) 'Streets Of New York' -
038) 'Unbreakable [Live]' -
039) 'Every Little Bit Hurts [Live]' -
040) 'As I Am (Intro)' -
041) 'Go Ahead' -
042) 'Superwoman' -
043) 'No One' -
044) 'Like You'll Never See Me Again' -
045) 'Lesson Learned' -
046) 'Wreckless Love' -
047) 'The Thing About Love' -
048) 'Teenage Love Affair' -
049) 'I Need You' -
050) 'Where Do We Go From Here' -
051) 'Prelude To A Kiss' -
052) 'Tell You Something (Nana's Reprise)' -
053) 'Sure Looks Good To Me' -
054) 'Waiting For Your Love' -
055) 'Another Way To Die' -
056) 'Doncha Know (Sky Is Blue)' -
057) 'Saviour' -
058) 'Love Is Blind' -
059) 'Doesn't Mean Anything' -
060) 'Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart' -
061) 'Wait Til You See My Smile' -
062) 'That's How Strong My Love Is' -
063) 'Un-Thinkable (I'm Ready)' -
064) 'Love Is My Disease' -
065) 'Like The Sea' -
066) 'Put It In A Love Song' -
067) 'This Bed' -
068) 'Distance And Time' -
069) 'How It Feels To Fly' -
070) 'Empire State Of Mind (Part II) Broken Down' -
071) 'Through It All' -
072) 'Pray For Forgiveness' -
073) 'Stolen Moments' -
074) 'Heaven's Door' -
075) 'Lover Man' -
076) 'We're Almost There' -
077) 'De Novo Adagio (Intro)' -
078) 'Brand New Me' -
079) 'When It's All Over' -
080) 'Listen To Your Heart' -
081) 'New Day' -
082) 'Girl On Fire' -
083) 'Fire We Make' -
084) 'Tears Always Win' -
085) 'Not Even The King' -
086) 'That's When I Knew' -
087) 'Limitedless' -
088) 'One Thing' -
089) '101' -
090) 'The Beginning (Interlude)' -
091) 'The Gospel' -
092) 'Pawn It All' -
093) 'Kill Your Mama' -
094) 'She Don't Really Care_1 Luv' -
095) 'Illusion Of Bliss' -
096) 'Blended Family (What You Do For Love)' -
097) 'Work On It' -
098) 'Girl Can't Be Herself' -
099) 'More Than We Know' -
100) 'Where Do We Begin Now' -
101) 'Holy War' -
102) 'Hallelujah' -
103) 'In Common' -
104) 'Gangsta Lovin'' -
105) 'My Boo' -
106) 'Don't Give Up (Africa)' -
107) 'Dreaming' -
108) 'Empire State Of Mind' -
109) 'Speechless' -
110) 'Better You, Better Me' -
111) 'It's On Again' -
112) 'We Are Here' -
113) 'We Gotta Pray' -
114) '28 Thousand Days' -
115) 'Powerful' -
116) 'Back To Life' -
117) 'That's What's Up' -
118) 'Place To Call My Own [AK Version]' -

01) 'Girlfriend' -
02) 'How Come You Don't Call Me' -
03) 'Fallin'' -
04) 'A Woman's Worth' -
05) 'Karma' -
06) 'You Don't Know My Name' -
07) 'If I Ain't Got You' -
08) 'Diary' -
09) 'Unbreakable [Live]' -
10) 'Every Little Bit Hurts [Live]' -
11) 'Superwoman' -
12) 'No One' -
13) 'Like You'll Never See Me Again' -
14) 'Teenage Love Affair' -
15) 'Another Way To Die' -
16) 'Doesn't Mean Anything' -
17) 'Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart' -
18) 'Wait Til You See My Smile' -
19) 'Un-Thinkable (I'm Ready)' -
20) 'Put It In A Love Song' -
21) 'Empire State Of Mind (Part II) Broken Down' -
22) 'Brand New Me' -
23) 'New Day' -
24) 'Girl On Fire' -
25) 'Fire We Make' -
26) 'Tears Always Win' -
27) 'Blended Family (What You Do For Love)' -
28) 'Hallelujah' -
29) 'In Common' -
30) 'Gangsta Lovin'' -
31) 'My Boo' -
32) 'Don't Give Up (Africa)' -
33) 'Empire State Of Mind' -
34) 'Better You, Better Me' -
35) 'It's On Again' -
36) 'We Are Here' -
37) '28 Thousand Days' -
38) 'Back To Life' -

PROVISIONAL DEADLINE FOR YOUR SCORES: Sunday 1st October
 
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Eliminations by @londonrain:

1. Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart 10.333
2. Karma 9.667
3. You Don't Know My Name 9.611
4. Empire State of Mind (with Jay-Z) 9.500
5. If I Ain't Got You 9.389
6. Fallin' 9.056
6. Un-Thinkable (I'm Ready) 9.056

Eliminations by @Heaven on Earth:

6. Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down 9.056
9. A Woman's Worth 8.889
10. Doesn't Mean Anything 8.833
10. In Common 8.833

Eliminations by @Sprockrooster:
12. Girlfriend 8.8667
13. Put It In A Love Song (featuring Beyoncé) 8.556
13. Wait Til You See My Smile 8.556
15. Like You'll Never See Me Again 8.500
16. Diary (featuring Tony! Toni! Toné!) 8.222
17. Heartburn 8.159
18. Butterflyz 8.016
19. When It's All Over 7.984
20. Superwoman 7.944


21. This Bed 7.873
22. Juiciest (Mixtape Version) 7.841
22. Rock Wit U 7.841
24. Gangsta Lovin' (with Eve) 7.778
25. Dragon Days 7.714
26. If I Was Your Woman/Walk On By 7.698
27. Tell You Something (Nana's Reprise) 7.667
27. That's How Strong My Love Is 7.667
29. How Come You Don't Call Me 7.611
29. New Day 7.611


31. Harlem's Nocturne 7.603
32. Jane Doe 7.587
33. Back to Life 7.556
33. Go Ahead 7.556
35. Troubles 7.523
36. Brand New Me 7.500
37. Holy War 7.477
38. Dreaming 7.461
39. Girl on Fire 7.444
39. Lover Man 7.444
39. No One 7.444
39. Wreckless Love 7.444

43. Place to Call My Own (AK Version) 7.400
44. Love Is Blind 7.349
45. Lovin' U 7.317

46. Samsonite Man 7.301
47. Sure Looks Good to Me 7.286
48. Girl Can't Be Herself 7.254
49. Distance and Time 7.238
50. I Need You 7.206

51. Piano & I 7.159
51. Why Do I Feel So Sad 7.159
53. How It Feels to Fly 7.127
54. Slow Down 7.111
54. Where Do We Go from Here 7.111
56. Like the Sea 7.095
57. Teenage Love Affair 7.056
58. The Life 7.048
59. Limitedless 7.016
60. When You Really Love Someone 7.000


61. Streets of New York (featuring Nas & Rakim) 6.968
62. Blended Family (What You Do for Love) (featuring A$AP Rocky) 6.944
63. Pawn It All 6.904
63. Rear View Mirror 6.904
65. Hallelujah 6.889
66. The Gospel 6.857
67. Speechless (featuring Eve) 6.794
68. Love is My Disease 6.793
69. 28 Thousand Days 6.778
69. Through It All 6.778
69. We Gotta Pray 6.778

72. Wake Up 6.761
73. My Boo (with Usher) 6.722
74. Goodbye 6.699
74. Mr. Man (featuring Jimmy Cozier) 6.699
76. Tears Always Win 6.667

77. Pray for Forgiveness 6.651
78. Listen to Your Heart 6.650
79. Stolen Moments 6.634
80. Typewriter 6.634

81. Caged Bird 6.619
82. One Thing 6.603
83. Where Do We Begin Now 6.587
84. Fire We Make (featuring Maxwell) 6.556
85. It's On Again (featuring Kendrick Lamar) 6.556
86. So Simple (featuring Lellow) 6.556
87. More Than We Know 6.523
88. Work On It 6.523
89. That's When I Knew 6.508
90. We're Almost There 6.490

91. Heaven's Door 6.349

92. Feeling U, Feeling Me 6.286
93. 101 6.286
94. Never Felt This Way (Interlude) 6.254
95. Better You, Better Me 6.222
95. Lesson Learned (featuring John Mayer) 6.222
97. I Won't (Crazy World) 6.190
97. Nobody Not Really 6.190
99. We Are Here 6.167
100. Illusion of Bliss 6.143

101. Saviour 6.095
101. Doncha Know (Sky Is Blue) 6.079
101. The Thing About Love 6.079
104. As I Am (Intro) 6.063


Eliminations by @Heaven on Earth:
105. Unbreakable (Live) 6.056
106. Powerful (with Jussie Smollett) 5.952
106. That's What's Up 5.952
108. Waiting for Your Love 5.778
109. Not Even the King 5.746
110. Every Little Bit Hurts 5.611
111. Prelude to a Kiss 5.523

Eliminations by @D.F.P.:

112. Ghettoman (featuring muMs da Schemer) 5.643
113. Another Way to Die (with Jack White) 5.563
114. Kill Your Mama 5.500
114. She Don't Really Care_1 Luv 5.500

116. The Beginning (Interlude) 5.429
117. De Novo Adagio (Intro) 5.357
118. Don't Give Up (Africa) (with Bono) 4.750


This list corrects a couple of errors in the thread, so ranks may not always match the ones in the individual reveals.


Result summaries by album:
Songs in A Minor
The Diary of Alicia Keys
As I Am
The Element of Freedom
Girl on Fire
Here

Extras
 
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@D.F.P. Could you please provide some links, for the bonus tracks and extras in particular?

Of course, I've now linked to the harder-to-find ones. I think ( / hope) everything else should be pretty easy to locate but please let me know if you run into any further difficulties!

Yes, I am nitpicky but Another Way To Die is missing. And I wouldnot be asking for it, if I wouldnot score it high.

? I'm afraid I don't follow Sprockrooster, do you mean you'd like me to link to it? 'Cause the song itself is in the Song List (track 16 on As I Am, to be specific).
 
Of course, I've now linked to the harder-to-find ones. I think ( / hope) everything else should be pretty easy to locate but please let me know if you run into any further difficulties!



? I'm afraid I don't follow Sprockrooster, do you mean you'd like me to link to it? 'Cause the song itself is in the Song List (track 16 on As I Am, to be specific).
Oh. I had no idea it was added to that album as it isnot on my version. Sorry for the confusion.
 
I saw the title, thought we were just rating the debut and was very disappointed.

Definitely HERE for a full discography rate.

Is a PM-friendly list going up any time soon?

Done - I've now added PM-friendly lists for those of you wanting to do the whole discography and anyone wanting to do just the singles to the second post.

Also, nn at my attempts at a pun falling so completely flat - I picked 'Songs In A Minor Rate' to play off the fact that this rate will no doubt end up being fairly minor because interest in AK's material is so limited on this forum. (Hence these songs being quite literally 'songs in a minor / small rate'.) Evidently that isn't clear though, so perhaps I ought to go back to the drawing board!
 

londonrain

Staff member
Done - I've now added PM-friendly lists for those of you wanting to do the whole discography and anyone wanting to do just the singles to the second post.

Great. Thank you!

Also, nn at my attempts at a pun falling so completely flat - I picked 'Songs In A Minor Rate' to play off the fact that this rate will no doubt end up being fairly minor because interest in AK's material is so limited on this forum. (Hence these songs being quite literally 'songs in a minor / small rate'.) Evidently that isn't clear though, so perhaps I ought to go back to the drawing board!

Oh. I was just searching for a thread "Alicia Keys rate" in the title and couldn't find it, and then I saw this and the title totally passed me by.

Perhaps something more obvious like "This Rate Is On Fire"?
 
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Perhaps something more obvious like "This Rate Is On Fire"?

Okay, cards on the table time: I considered 'This Rate Is On Fire' way back when I first suggested the idea of an AK discography rate in the 'Rate Queue' thread but then, on reflection, decided reminding everyone of Alicia's - er - patchiest album to date in the title of the thread may do more harm than good. I'm (rather sadistically?) looking forward to seeing how Girl On Fire does in this rate, to be honest. I'm wondering if any silent fans will emerge from the woodwork. (Thank you for the suggestion though, I appreciate it!)

Empire Rate of Mind (Part II) Voted Down
Un-Rateable (I'm Ratey)
You Don't Know My Rate
(Um, this is the rateress from the coffee house on 39th and Lennox, you know, the one with the rates?)

Wait at 'Empire Rate Of Mind' being kind of excellent. ("Um, this is the rateress [...]" is excellent too but you know only about fifteen people would probably get the reference aha.)

@Alouder98 - I saw your post earlier and wanted to say that there's no pressure / commitment but it would be fantastic if you could participate in any way, shape or form. As aforementioned, I'm just hoping to get as many people involved as possible. (I will say though that if you're not very familiar with AK's work there are some... more difficult cuts alongside the gems, even in her singles discography. If only I knew your taste in music I could recommend you a good few tracks with which to start!)
 
Inam not sure if Girl on Fire will rank up that low averages but it is so incohesive I feel like everyone will be stanning for different songs so the albums gets culled in the process.
 
Damn her debut is so completely solid but almost one hundred and twenty songs is daunting for me this time of year.

Either way, I'll in and will at least rate the singles.
 
Damn her debut is so completely solid but almost one hundred and twenty songs is daunting for me this time of year.

Either way, I'll in and will at least rate the singles.

Thanks lemonsqueezyy, I appreciate it. I am genuinely sorry for the sheer volume of material here but I fear splitting the rate into parts just wouldn't make sense when the artist is as niche as Alicia is on Popjustice, you know? My plan was to give everyone six weeks so that they could score one album per week, were they in a pinch, but of course even that may not be enough if this is a super busy time of year for you. Regardless though, I'm thrilled to hear you're with us in some capacity or other.

Speaking of deadlines:
When is the deadline? I'm trying to work on a bunch of things at once. If this is due at the end of September, I'll cry. Maybe mid-October?

The provisional deadline is 17th September, though if people need a little more time for what is, admittedly, a rather mammoth discography to rate in one go I may push that back a little. The real issue here is two-fold: 1) I don't want to keep people waiting for too long if they're working towards the September 17th deadline - it's both a little unfair on them and a bit of a mood-killer for the rate, I fear - and 2) I also don't want to mess up the rate schedule too much by having too drawn-out a voting period. It feels unfair both on the posters who are looking forward to other, upcoming rates and to RainOnFire, who does such a brilliant job of keeping everything organised. That said I will move heaven and earth to accommodate as many of you as possible, so if September still seems completely undoable for you by the end of August maybe send me a PM and I'll get to seeing if a slight push-back would be beneficial to other potential voters too.

Inam not sure if Girl on Fire will rank up that low averages but it is so incohesive I feel like everyone will be stanning for different songs so the albums gets culled in the process.

You know Sprockrooster, your optimism is so charming. I - well, let's wait for everyone's scores first. Who knows, you may well be right!

I swear to God if someone in their commentary comes for that part he/she can wish they were never born.

Finally, I wanted to publicly praise the tone of this post. Popjustice rates with a little passion and belligerence are always the best ones, wouldn't you agree?
 

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