Also splendid from the debut are "Girlfriend" (with rap from Jay-Z), demonstrating Keys's ease with hip-hop rhythms and revealing her fearless admission of vulnerability to jealousy, and "How Come You Don't Call Me," which reacts to neglect not with petulance but with irresistible cooing seduction. No wonder thug rapper 50 Cent became smitten with Keys at a party and unsuccessfully pursued her for months with pretty words and flowers (dude just wasn't her type).
Keys' second effort, The Diary of Alicia Keys, entered the charts at Number One when it was released late last fall, is already multi-platinum, and demonstrates musical and conceptual growth over its predecessor. "You Don't Know My Name" is vastly appealing retro-soul as Keys is both bold and coy, calling a man who has caught her eye to plead her romantic case. The clever video for the song casts Keys as a waitress in a coffee shop, the voice behind the phone call, and confirms her down-to-earth conception of herself despite the abundant talent, beauty and brains (she attended Columbia University on a music scholarship at the age of 16). "Diary" demonstrates her way with a sophisticated, jazzy melody, and understated musicality.
The only real concern about the burgeoning superstar is that she is burning too many candles at too many ends - her regimen of writing, recording, rehearsal, travel, performance, answering fan mail on her exceptional website, and, um, breathing and eating and stuff, leaves little time for sleep or even rest. Yet so far she seems to be thriving with a schedule and responsibilities that would shame a campaigning presidential candidate. But of course - all in a day's work for a natural born super woman.