Updated: Sep 6, 2020
Obviously I wouldn’t read this book if I wasn’t an Alicia Keys fan y’all. Alicia Keys has been one of my favorite artists since she first came out with her debut album ‘Songs in a Minor’ back in 2001! I have pretty much listened to every single one of her albums since then. Like all of them. I genuinely think she’s one of the most talented singer/songwriters out there in the R&B/Soul world and I love herrrrr. I remember first hearing about this book on Oprah’s Instagram. Oprah had announced that More Myself was to be released under Oprah’s first imprint, An Oprah Book, and since then I knew I had to get my hands on this book. Also, I’m a huge Alicia Keys fan and I got to fan girl and swoon over Keys' voice. I listened to the audio-book by the way and it was everything and more.
Alicia Keys is one of the most celebrated musicians of our time. She has enraptured the nation with her heartfelt lyrics, extraordinary vocal range, and soul-stirring piano compositions. Away from all the glitz and glamour, Alicia had grappled with private issues such as the heartache over the complex and challenging relationship with her father, the complete loss of privacy that comes with fame, the oppressive expectations of female perfection, and the people pleasing nature that characterized her early career.
Alicia has spent many years not fully recognizing or honoring her own self worth. After withholding parts of herself for so many years, she finally is now asking herself, "Who am I really? And once I discover that truth am I brave enough to face it and embrace it?"
This book is an autobiography and part narrative documentary following Alicia Keys’ journey. It is candidly told through her own recounting, through vivid recollections to those closest to her, or have walked alongside her path. Therefore, resulting in a complete 360 of Alicia’s path from her young girlhood memories in Harlem, NY, right up to the process of self discovery that she is still navigating.
Alicia shares her quest for truth about herself, her past and her shift from sacrificing her spirit, to celebrating her own self worth.
Okay, so let me just say this. I am an Alicia fan and I always will be whether or not I had read this book. It doesn’t change my opinion about her. I think she is an awesome role model.
Okay so back to the book! I listened to the Audio-book for More Myself, and I’m so glad that I did because I love her voice! She is very soothing to listen to, I do have to say. It felt like she was sitting on the couch with you telling you all about her life and sharing her deepest stories, like you had a secret key into her life. I loved the audio-book.
I’m going to start with what I loved about this book. Given that I listened to the audio-book, before each chapter, she would play a little melody on her piano which I thought was so sweet. It sort of felt like you were watching a documentary about her life, but through your headphones. It was an interesting experience. I absolutely loved that she told us everything right from the beginning of her life and career. It was really cool to learn how she had actually gotten her career to kick off in the early years. I always think that kind of journey is much more fascinating than when famous people are much later in their career. It feels like you can relate to them a little more. I have to say that I learned a lot about show business by listening to this book, and how the ins and outs of recording albums happen, as well as making sure to be aware and to protect yourself as an artist and to not be exploited by record companies. Musicians work so damn hard! It’s unbelievable. Especially in the early years. It's relentless and draining work. I enjoyed learning about her early career a lot.
This book was also filled with LOADS of celebrity intros and vignettes from people such as Oprah, Michelle Obama, Bono, America Fererra, Swizz Beats, and more! I loved hearing all of these people speak in her audio-book, they actually made guest appearances and said nice things about Alicia. I also learned a lot about Alicia keys that I never knew before, such as her nickname, and I learned about her family, her songwriting process, her goals in life, and generally what type of person she is. I enjoyed the journey that she took us through with each album release. It’s truly amazing. When she takes you on her journey through her albums she would sing a line or two from one of her tracks and it was glorious. This was hands down one of my favorite things about this audio-book.
Okay now down to the minor negatives. At times I felt that she seriously could have skipped some parts about her life. Like when she started talking about the TV show The Voice where she was a judge in. She would begin to explain all the rules, and I was like what? But why Alicia, why? We did not need to hear all that. I also sometimes felt that it got a bit braggy especially towards the end of the book. Such as, her telling us about the lavish birthday parties that her and her husband Swizz Beats throw each other, and the extravagant trips they take...i don’t know it was a little unnecessary and it felt superficial. The writing as well at times was a little sort of plastic? or surface-y, it felt weird to me at times, and then other times the writing was okay. So not sure what happened there. I just wished that she would have gone more in depth towards the end. I actually think if she wrote an autobiography 10 years from now it would have turned out even better!
I will say, given all that, I enjoyed listening to this book. I really did. Also, after I was done with this book, I of course binged on all the Alicia Keys albums and music videos. Kind of like that feeling you get after going to a concert, you binge listen to that artist's music for an entire week. I love all of the input she gives in this book, and at times, it felt almost like you were reading a self help book. We all know Alicia is a very spiritual person, and it totally shows and shines through in her book. I love her whole aura and I will always listen to anything she puts out. She’s original, beautiful, and ultra cool. More myself is an intimate, revealing look at one artist’s journey from self-censorship to full expression. It is about her family, her music, her life, and her career thus far. It’s about staying true to who you are, being authentic, and doing more in life. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommend the audio-book.
This book would be perfect for any musicians as well as anyone wanting to begin their journey to self discovery.
I’m a huge music lover, obviously! So with each book I read, I love to pair it with a song that best suits the book. Now you guys know I have to pick an Alicia Keys song to complement this book right? Only question is which one? I love so many of her tracks! (click on song titles to see videos) Superwoman being one of my all time personal favs, Tell You Something, Blended Family, If I Ain’t Got You, Girlfriend, I mean I could go on. But for this book, I think I have to go with ‘Girl on Fire’. I love this song, it’s such a power song, the video is hot, and it’s just bad ass track. Love you Alicia!
Genre: Autobiography | Memoir | Non Fiction | Biography
Publication Date: March 21, 2020
Pages: 272 Pages
Reviewed by Chrissy's Books