We were all by our radios when we heard “Fallin” and then grew to understand the true meaning of “Karma.” By that point, the majority of us were really feeling the tunes and styles of musician/singer/ songwriter, Alicia Keys. She took it a step further for her fans and went and got all live and “unplugged” and showed us she was “Unbreakable.”
Well, disappointment is far from what you will get with her newest and soon-to-be-a-classic release, “As I Am.”
Again, the single “No One” grabbed us and immediately we could tell our little Alicia went out in the world and matured as she found out a little bit more about love, ditched her signature cornrows and embraced her fashion side to become Ms. Keys.
She doesn’t stop there. She hits us with some new flavors and a different style with “Lesson Learned,” a duet with John Mayer and “Like You’ll Never See Me Again.” The tracks are a little racy from what fans are accustomed to from Keys, she steps outside R&B guidelines with its acoustic bass lines, but hits nonetheless.
For the ballad lover’s, “As I Am,” comes through for you, ten-fold. In addition to “No One” and “Like You’ll Never See Me Again,” there is “Teenage Love Affair.” This track takes the listener back to the early days of puppy love with note passing and day dreaming in classes as she says, “Daydreaming about you all day/ In school can’t concentrate/ Want have your voice in my ear/’Till ma comes and says it’s too late/ When the lights are on outside/ Could you find somewhere to hide/ Cause I just don’t want to say goodbye/ Cause you are my baby.” The melody is reminiscent of a 1970s “oldie but goodie” that our parents jammed to, and now we can call our own.
Okay, I know this is a lot of new stuff, but don’t fret. She didn’t forget her roots. If you were looking forward to tracks similar to the ones on earlier albums, she has you covered. She continues her anthems to femininity with the song “Superwoman.” She gives shout-outs to all women that come from all walks of life, which inspires them to find strength. She says, “Cause I am a Superwoman…Even when I’m a mess/ I still put on a vest/ With an S on my chest/ Oh yes/ I’m a Superwoman.”
She continues with “Go Ahead,” which has the vocals and beat that you can hear one time and know, without a doubt, it’s Alicia Keys.
There is a certain amount of class and talent a person must have to reinvent them selves several times and still, somehow, remain the same. This process is similar to alchemy, the process of turning metal to gold. I tip my hat to Ms. Keys for such flawless demonstrations since her sophomore studio release. “As I Am” amazes the listener with a different outlook on love and life, and somehow comforts at the same time with each track.