Predictable But Far From Disappointing
Alicia Keys’ third studio album As I Am combines the perfect amount of collaboration, instrumentation, and soul. Yet again, Keys is able to deliver a solid, rated-PG album about love and sex. In tandem with her piano expertise, Keys offers an out-of-this-world vocal range and the ability to control it.This R&B icon gives listeners another album with very few weak spots. Keys begins with the strong track “Go Ahead,” which is a pledge to never again fall for his gamesâ€šÃ„Ã®”If you think Ima fall for this anymore / Everybody say na, na, na, na.” Her determination and strength are reminiscent of early TLC, with no patience for lies.
“Superwoman” is meant to inspire all women, regardless of age or status, that they can do anything. The standout single “No One” shows off Keysâ€šÃ„Ã´ piano abilities throughout the chorus. John Mayer is featured on “Lesson Learned”â€šÃ„Ã®clearly a love lessonâ€šÃ„Ã®in lyrical and musical contributions.
The rest of the album recalls her previous two, Keys stringing together slow ballads about giving up on love or finding it. “Wreckless Love” discusses the beginning stages of love, when you just can’t get enough. Keys references crazy love, that “anywhere kind of love,” but doesnâ€šÃ„Ã´t elaborate on whether it is physical or emotional. The song itself is in a much higher pitch than other tracks, and is one of the catchiest tunes. Similarly, “Teenage Love Affair” paints the perfect picture of your first relationship and takes the listener around the love bases.
The album closes out with “Tell You Something,” easily the strongest track on the album. Keys creates a song with meaning beyond life revolving around love, yet appreciating every relationship in your life. Despite hints of predictability, As I Am is still a must-have R&B album, and Keys absolutely has her place next to Erykah and Mary J.