The sob story

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MUSIC -

Each tune is given a new twist, with Keys on her pi­ano and al­ter­nat­ing her soul­ful personas – a bit of raw and raspy, a pinch of sweet and sul­try.

In be­tween each per­for­mance, Keys also gets into sto­ry­telling mode (ahem!) and shares with fans some de­tails about her songs. The lit­tle things like Keys talk­ing about how “baby” is her favourite word and then show­ing off vo­cally how it fits into any song, makes this al­bum a de­light to lis­ten to.

Fans will also love Keys’ ex­pla­na­tion of how some songs came to be, like in the case of You Don’t Know My Name. She said the di­a­logue bit was added to give the song a lit­tle bit more feel, and the lines had to be im­pro­vised to make it sound nat­u­ral.

It also helps that Keys has the kind of as­sured, al­lur­ing voice that makes you want to pay at­ten­tion to ev­ery word.

As a nod to the Big Ap­ple, Keys digs deep and rolls out a rugged Em­pire State Of Mind Part II: Bro­ken Down – a soar­ing, stripped-down ver­sion of her ear­lier hit sin­gle with Jay Z. Pick this up to be mes­merised by Keys’ pow­er­ful voice.

James Arthur

(Sony Mu­sic) PRIOR to re­leas­ing his self­ti­tled de­but al­bum, X-Fac­tor re­al­ity show win­ner James Arthur scored a num­ber one hit in Bri­tain with a cover song. For­tu­nately for fans, his ren­di­tion of Shon­telle’s Im­pos­si­ble is also in­cluded in this al­bum.

The heav­ily tat­tooed Arthur, 25, plays the crowd-pleaser from start to fin­ish in this al­bum. He kicks things off with the thun­der­ing num­ber You’re No­body ‘Til Some­body Loves You, with a snatch of dub­step in the equa­tion. Yes, this lad knows how to rock a con­trived club an­them.

He also col­lab­o­rates with Brit singer-song­writer Emeli Sande on the sub­lime love song Roses. This string-laden track, ad­mit­tedly, is a de­cent piece of melo­drama de­spite its silly lyrics.

Arthur also shows off his vo­cal range on Sui­cide, a slow num­ber with a tinge of blues in it.

If any­thing, Arthur should stick to his R&B pop sen­si­bil­i­ties. When he tries to get all rock star, it feels like we’re go­ing to get another Adam Levine. And we don’t re­ally need another Adam Levine.

This 18-track al­bum also in­cludes five bonus tracks, where fans can lis­ten to acous­tic num­bers like Get Down and Sup­posed.

It’s un­for­tu­nate, but this al­bum des­per­ately needs a per­son­al­ity.

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