Alicia Keys’ As I Am is phenomenal. You know when you are in church and the pastor is preaching, and it seems that he is all up inside your head? Well, that is how I feel with some of her selections. Her voices seems to take on a different tone on this album. It is much softer at times and then at other times, she smacks you in the face with her power. This is a departure from both of her previous releases. I have to say that this is my second favorite album from her behind Songs in A Minor. The style is more subtle. Overall this album reminds me of Aretha Franklin’s Respect album. The message, the flow, the tone, the feelings behind it are definitely saying something to somebody. I am not trying to mess with Alicia right now.
The Intro is definite and in your face. She is rocking it out on the piano with an accompanied beat, letting you know that this is serious.
Go Ahead (Track 2) is the only track that I initially skipped. When I get a new album, I tend to run through it really quick just to get a feel for the music. I listened to all her songs on first try except “Go Ahead.” Although, once I listened to it, I could feel her. It is not my favorite track but it is hot and the words are definitely telling.
Superwoman starts with her on the piano and then her voice comes in. I love it. It is my new anthem. Cuz, you know, I’m a superwoman.
I cannot get enough of No One. There are those songs that I can just here over and over again and this is definitely one of them. Although she is screaming a little at times, I don’t even care. I just love the beat, her flow, and meaning behind it.
I think she was channeling Prince on Like You’ll Never See Me Again. The raspy quality to her voice accompanied by the violin and her skillful piano playing definitely gives me the chills. If you have not scene the video yet check it out here. It is complete hotness with Common as her costar. They would make a beautiful couple.
John Mayer is the only featured artist on the album and Lesson Learned fits right in. His accompaniment is not overbearing. Learning from our mistakes can only make us better and it is apparent that Alicia has worked through some stuff.
Wreckless Love is like a stroll down memory lane. Remember when you were first falling in love? All the feelings and energy? It is almost playful. “Take it back in time when forever was a minute and eternity was a second.”
In The Thing About Love, Alicia slows it down and seemingly pours her heart out. This is one of those soulful ballads that takes me back to the Aretha days when she just sang. It is a beautiful cut on the album. “Tell me that I am not the only one that’s going through it all. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one that’s going through it all.” Then she lets you know that “It’s my time for me to shine.” Didn’t I say, I would not want to mess with her?
Once again, I am transported back in time with A Teenage Love Affair, another upbeat, playful track that showcases Keys’ versatility and fun side. She does capture the defiance attitude of being in love as a teenager. I need to remember this when my kids start acting crazy over some kid they like.
Jumping a couple of tracks to Prelude to a Kiss and Tell You Something (Nana’s Reprise), I was just totally captivating. Alicia belts out “Can you send me an angel to guide me” before going in to Tell You Something. Both tracks are beautifully done and put together. They are slightly sad and motivating at the same time. It is seems that she worked through a devastating loss to produce a beautiful single. “Imagine there was no tomorrow. Imagine that I couldn’t see your face. There ain’t no limit to my sorrow and there is nothing that could fill that space.”
Sure Look Good To Me ends the album on a motivational note. The bridge is the hottest bars in this song. No matter how your life is, we have to go through the ups and downs to live it to its fullest. I do not know if this is one for the airwaves but it is a song to carry with you when things are rough and you need a little pick me up. It is a steady tempo until the bridge when she slowly comes in and breaks it down to a head-banging joint by the end. I absolutely love this track.
This album gets 5 out of 5 stars from me. Go out and get it or better yet buy it now from the link (hey, help a sister out J). As I Am will make a great stocking stuffer.
Or get the album with additional video footage.