Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Alicia Keys 

As I Am (J)

1667846.t.jpg

Like many of her R&B contemporaries, Alicia Keys comes up short in the melody department. She and her peers possess the chops, the feel, and even the look of their predecessors, but they just don't have their tunes. So Keys' collaborative outreach on her third studio album, As I Am, doesn't seem like a bad idea . . . at least on the surface.

Unfortunately, the highest-profile pairings end up the limpest. John Mayer's lifeless "Lesson Learned" is the worst offender, but Linda Perry's three contributions aren't her best work either — replacing Keys' natural grit with slick pop-soul knockoffs. Much better are the charming "Teenage Love Affair" and "Wreckless Love," which strike the perfect balance between hummability and soulful heft. And "Like You'll Never See Me Again," a stunning, spare slow-jam, might just be the best thing Keys has ever done. It's also the only song on As I Am penned solely by Keys with her longtime partner, Kerry "Krucial" Brothers — suggesting the help she needed might have been there all along.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Speaking of CD Review

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 9, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation