5. Alicia Keys “Fallin'”

“…I keep on fallin’/in and out/of love/with you…”  When Number 5, Alicia Key’s “Fallin’,” hit the radio in 2001, I was entranced.  When I saw the video I was even more captivated by the intrinsic drama and cinematic scope of the mini hip hopera.  “Fallin'” cut through the airwaves like a katana blade through a smooth cinnamon roll.  The orange-jump-suited-field-chorus is at the same time awe-inspiring and haunting as their image stays with you beyond your first viewing.

Ms. Keys is of the hip hop generation.  And this video is what happens when someone of some privilege  (piano lessons and performing arts school) puts their lens on it.  You get a romanticized (and actually enthralling) version of the prison love story.  Striking, with braids and an urban chic style, Alicia melded a street sensibility with an organic old school yet modern sound that pleased the masses.

“Fallin'” is a song that speaks for itself.  Though I do not follow Alicia and buy all her albums (I have 1), she had me at “I” with this song.   With music seeming like so much processed and packaged left-overs, “Fallin'” was hot buttered soul on a biscuit.