| Alicia Keys has once again delivered the goods with third studio album 'As I Am'. Now that the full CD rip has leaked, I think that the album is exquisitely well put together. As I Am, is set for release on Nov 13th on J Records and sees collaborations from John Mayer, Linda Perry, Floetry's Marsha Ambrosius and her Krucial Keys partner Kerry Brothers. As I Am draws inspiration from a variety of different sounds which would include hip-hop, soul, rock, and classical merged into one alongside the reggae-tinged first single "No One".
Although the album's new sound is more commercial-savvy prior to previous efforts, Alicia hasn't lost her soul and commitment to the old-skool R&B she is critically acclaimed for. In fact, she has therefore proven to hold a fearless but confident continuity to go back in time. The album is beautifully written with meaningful and soulful lyrics. It comprises of striking melodies and powerful ballads such as the John Mayer collaborated Lesson Learned and The Thing About Love. Both are accentuated by traditional piano hooks that pulls on the heart-strings of the listener. The lively and hot Teenage Love Affair is street but sweet. The flawless Wreckless Love shows that vocally, Alicia can still execute a perfect vocal without the painful straining. Plus, her second single, the heavily-Prince inspired LikeYou'll Never See Me Again shows Alicia in another class of her own.
Wholesomely, I loved the album from beginning to end but my standouts would have to be Superwoman, Like You'll Never See Me Again, Lesson Learned, Wreckless Love, Prelude To A Kiss and Teenage Love Affair. As I Am is definitely her most innovative album to date because she tries to do things with her voice that we've never heard before. Her sound is more varied and it doesn't just have the Soul/Hip Hop/R&B backdrop that was prevalent in previous albums. She took risks with this album and switched it up, which is what great artists do. And I have to say, it definitely worked in her favour.
Labels: ALBUM REVIEW, ALICIA KEYS