14 Songs, 55 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

As I Am is the resounding confirmation of Alicia Keys’ permanent place in the pop landscape. “Wreckless Love” and “The Thing About Love” are seductive and forthright, effortlessly recalling ‘70s soul. Hit-making songwriter Linda Perry collaborated with Keys on “Sure Looks Good to Me” and “Superwoman.” The John Mayer duet “Lesson Learned” is adult oriented pop fueled by a blue flame groove.

EDITORS’ NOTES

As I Am is the resounding confirmation of Alicia Keys’ permanent place in the pop landscape. “Wreckless Love” and “The Thing About Love” are seductive and forthright, effortlessly recalling ‘70s soul. Hit-making songwriter Linda Perry collaborated with Keys on “Sure Looks Good to Me” and “Superwoman.” The John Mayer duet “Lesson Learned” is adult oriented pop fueled by a blue flame groove.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

1680 Ratings

Keys Crafts Another Gem

Jeezy Jr.,

Welcome back Alicia Keys. It has been 3 years since we've heard from Alicia Keys musically. What does she do to let everyone know that she's back? Create another Top 5 hit in "No One". No One immediately restored all of the praise that Keys has seen in the past, and well deservedly. The lyrical gem took no time at all to resignate, shooting straight to the top of the charts. Keys has continued to raise the bar for herself by making one great album after the next. As I Am is up there with her other albums. I can see 4 probable hits from As I Am. One thing that is so great about Alicia Keys is that she refuses to sell out. That she sticks to the formula that is loved by all is especially refeshing in the current era of music we are in. As I Am should show Alicia the same success that she has seen in the past. Let's take a closer look: As I Am (Intro)- a standout intro. This is completely instrumental, and really gives a beautiful orchestral feeling. 4/5 Stars. Go Ahead- Keys staggers out of the gate with this one. Her vocals seem out of rhythm with the melody. 3.5/5 Stars. Superwoman- features production assistance from Linda Perry. This is a true woman's anthem, and Keys is at her best lyrically. 5/5 Stars. No One- the album's first single. This song is really beautiful and has so much meaning and passion behind it. 5/5 Stars. Like You'll Never See Me Again- the album's second single. The album's finest in every aspect. This song has so much meaning behind it, it is ridiculous. It tells you to treasure each mment as if i is your last. THe vieo for this is wonderful. 5/5 Stars. Lesson Learned- features John Mayer. Mayer adds a very nice touch, creating an orchestral feeling to the song. 4.5/5 Stars. Wreckless Love- Keys vocalism is great on here. She also makes a very nice piano arrangement. 4.5/5 Stars. The Thing About Love- great lyrics and meaning. The only downside is that this song never really picks up. 3.5/5 Stars. Teenage Love Affair- a little immature. Also Keys voice doesn't mesh with the production. 3.5/5 Stars. I Need You- has a very warm, bubbly feel to it. Keys is wonderful vocally and on the piano. 5/5 Stars. Where Do We Go From Here- another beautiful ballad. This song has so much meaning to it, and is really a great song. 5/5 Stars. Prelude to a Kiss- never really picks up. Still, it serves it's purpose it shaping the album as a whole. 4/5 Stars. Tell You Something (Nana's Reprise)- the previous song really leads in well to this one. Still, an average song. 3.5/5 Stars. Sure Looks Good To Me- a beautiful closing. This song really ends the album on a high note. Keys puts so much passion into this standout, saying "I'm gonna risk it all, the freedom to fall, yes it sure looks good to me". 5/5 Stars. Top 5 Songs: 1)Like You'll Never see Me Again 2)No One 3)Sure Looks Good To Me 4)Where Do We Go From Here 5)Superwoman

Simply Great!!!

bigedbear,

This album is not too over the top and is not filled with a bunch of fillers like most albums are today. Every song is great and has single potential. One of the most complete and distinct albums I have heard in a while. Alicia is proving that R&B still can move the soul like it should and not just the hips like most artists do today. Great album Alicia!

About Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys became an international star with her singular mix of classic and contemporary R&B. Behind the number one pop hit "Fallin," her debut album, Songs in A Minor, sold more than 50,000 copies during its first day of availability in 2001 and eventually moved over ten million units worldwide, thus setting the stage for the then-20-year-old's long career. She was just behind D'Angelo and ahead of Norah Jones as the second singer, songwriter, and keyboardist to top the Billboard 200 during the 2000s. The Diary of Alicia Keys cemented her popularity two years later, and she spent the next decade refining her signature sound, racking up gold and platinum certifications, and collaborating with the likes of Jay-Z, Emeli Sandé, and Frank Ocean.

Alicia Augello Cook was born in Harlem in early 1981. Raised by her Italian-American mother, she enrolled in classical piano lessons at the age of seven and began writing songs four years later. An education at the Professional Performance Arts School helped develop her vocal skills, and Keys graduated at the age of 16 as the class valedictorian. Two Columbias loomed on the immediate horizon: Columbia University and Columbia Records, both of which had extended offers to the talented student/musician. Although she attempted to make both options work, Keys found it difficult to juggle the two commitments and chose to focus exclusively on her music career. Assuming the stage name of Alicia Keys, she began working with Columbia and contributed a song to the Men in Black soundtrack, but disputes with the label resulted in her contract's termination.

Keys bounced back by aligning herself with Clive Davis, the president of Arista Records, but work on her debut album stalled when Davis was ousted from the company in 2000. Davis soon formed his own label, J Records, and welcomed Keys back into the fold with an aggressive publicity campaign (including an influential appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show). Songs in A Minor was released in June 2001 and debuted at the top of the charts, eventually netting five Grammys and rising to platinum status in ten different countries. Released in 2003, The Diary of Alicia Keys enjoyed similar Grammy-certified success, and Keys released a book of poetry the following year.

A live CD/DVD package, Unplugged, arrived in 2005 and followed Keys' two previous releases to the top of the charts, even if it failed to win any of the four Grammys for which it was nominated. She then entered the acting world, starring in both Smokin' Aces and The Nanny Diaries in 2007, before issuing the pop-influenced As I Am later that year. It became her fourth consecutive number one album, and she was nominated for another handful of Grammys as a result, with "Superwoman" winning the award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in early 2009. As the year drew to a close, Keys returned to the top of the Billboard charts with "Empire State of Mind," a Jay-Z single that featured her vocals, and released her fourth studio album, The Element of Freedom. Although it went platinum, The Element of Freedom didn't reach number one in the U.S. and became her first album to miss the top slot. It did reach number one in the U.K., though, marking Keys' first chart-topping album in Europe and highlighting her status as a global artist.

During the next two years, Keys married producer Swizz Beatz, gave birth to a son, collaborated with Eve on the single "Speechless," appeared somewhere in Kanye West's "All of the Lights," and went on a brief tour in celebration of her debut album's tenth anniversary. She wrote and, with her husband, co-produced "Angel" for Jennifer Hudson's I Remember Me. In 2012, she assisted Emeli Sandé (Our Version of Events) and Miguel (Kaleidoscope Dream) prior to releasing Girl on Fire, her fifth studio album. It was issued on RCA that November and featured collaborations with her husband, as well as Sandé, Salaam Remi, Jeff Bhasker, Frank Ocean, and John Legend. In the U.S., it became her fifth number one album and went gold. VH1 Storytellers, recorded just prior to its release, was issued in June 2013. Keys' recorded activity the next year involved a collaboration with Kendrick Lamar, as heard on the soundtrack of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and a pair of socially conscious solo tracks, "We Are Here" and "We Gotta Pray."

After Keys gave birth to her second son with Swizz Beatz, she released another single, "28 Thousand Days," and appeared in the second season of Empire, for which she recorded "Powerful" with series co-star Jussie Smollett. The following May, Keys released "In Common" as a prelude to her sixth studio album and made her third musical guest appearance on Saturday Night Live. A few months later, she began a stint as a coach on The Voice and contributed "Back to Life" to the soundtrack for Queen of Katwe. Here, led by the biographical single "Blended Family (What You Do for Love)," arrived that November, peaking at number two on Billboard's Top 200. In April of the following year, Keys quietly released an EP called Vault Playlist, Vol. 1, which featured previously unreleased material and reimagined versions of earlier songs. ~ Andrew Leahey & Andy Kellman

  • ORIGIN
    New York, NY
  • GENRE
    R&B/Soul
  • BORN
    January 25, 1981

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