Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

CD Review: Alicia Keys -- As I Am

Posted By on Wed, Nov 28, 2007 at 2:32 PM


Alicia Keys

As I Am

(J Records)

Unlike most singers cast in the diva role, who are all about pipes and persona, Alicia Keys is a multi-faceted artist adept at songwriting and arranging as well as vocal emoting. For that reason, she's among the current performers least in need of help from studio pros — yet the fingerprints of big-dollar assistants are all over As I Am. Their influence isn't fatal, but the disc feels less distinctive than it should given the talent of the performer pictured on its cover.

The main string-puller here is Pink collaborator Linda Perry, who assists on numbers such as "Superwoman," a relatively lukewarm popper that requires a Herculean effort from Keys to lift off the ground. Also problematic is "Lesson Learned," co-starring the Man With the Bland, John Mayer.

"Wreckless Love," which Keys handles on her own, is far livelier, the format-crossing hit "No One" simmers persuasively, and the album as a whole remains thoroughly listenable. Still, As I Am would have been stronger if it allowed Keys to show who she truly is. -- Michael Roberts

  • Pin It

Tags: , ,

About The Author

Oscar Pascual


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"