• Record Label: Sony
  • Release Date: Nov 13, 2007

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. This is a record that will happen to you, and when it clicks, the realisation that As I Am is a genuine classic is overwhelming.
  2. The strong stories that Keys spins are complemented by deft musical arrangements that integrate more rock and pop into her enriched old-school vibe.
  3. Keys isn't quite a superwoman come to save R&B from itself, but the timeless quality of As I Am is right on time.
  4. 80
    The music is dizzying, even mesmerizing.
  5. As I Am radiates not just confidence but also experience. On the whole it’s her strongest effort yet.
  6. Spin
    On her melodically powerful third studio album, she matures into the matriarch of her genre. [Dec 2007, p.120]
  7. As I Am--very much an album about the condition her condition is in, very much an album in the old-fashioned sense, a complete work: one you shouldn't subject to shuffle before you've given Keys's sequencing a chance to work its magic, its rising and falling arcs, its gut-punch-and-goose-bumps denouement.
  8. Despite Perry's penchant for bland mantras, her American Idol-ready songs best showcase Keys' husky range and position her in a mainstream light.
  9. And so even though As I Am is a flawed work--a little too poppy, a little too clichéd--it is also indicative of what Keys can and will do, and that she is someone, thanks to her curiosity, intelligence, and natural talent, who will be able to mature and grow for years to come
  10. For the most part, the lyrics are so reliant on stock phrases - 'feel your touch', 'hold me', 'shoulda known', etc--that you could read anything you like into them without them carrying any personal feeling at all. If you can listen to that fluting, fierce, clear, dirty, magnificent voice while simultaneously shutting out the banality of what it's expressing, you'll have hours of pleasure from this gorgeously melodic, curiously old-fashioned album.
  11. Keys's tunes sing as strongly as she does. Alas, she still relies too often on sloganeering.
  12. Alicia Keys’ third studio album is an exercise in tightening the screws.
  13. New York City soulstresses born in January a decade apart ('71 and '80, respectively), Mary J. Blige and Alicia Keys flex their commercial empowerment in passionate opposition. Yonkers street survivor Blige and Manhattan piano prodigy Keys presently command career-high profiles with voices incapable of unfeeling line readings, though Booker T. & the MGs rather than synthetic New Jack soul should groove both ladies back to the old school, where their voices belong. Blige's desperate search for romantic stability counters Keys' full blush of new connection. Her eighth album since 1992 and first since 2005's Grammy-winning The Breakthrough, the former's Growing Pains starts unsteady, but its heart beats strong and sincere. Million-dollar opener "Work That" updates Motown for the 21st century with a rinky-dink piano figure and Blige's wigged head held high. Entanglements with Ludacris ("Grown Woman") and Usher ("Shake Down") tryst up unadvised, while the yearning "Feel Like a Woman" and its appeal to traditional sex roles feels pat. The succeeding "Stay Down" couches its pleas in experience rather than idealism, however, and "Hurt Again" promises this is the last time, obvious wishful thinking given the song's hook: bald denial. The synthetic funk of "Till the Morning" works best for more submissive bedroom confessions, backup "Roses" whiffing equally needy yet turns vulnerability into resentment ("it ain't all roses, flowers, and poses"), and eventually dominance. It's one of Growing Pain's best, another being "Fade Away," its treadmill tempo riding a straight line groove. The disc then loses steam (nagging "Talk to Me," clouded "Smoke") when it should've lost 20 of its 65 minutes but ends on strong note in "Come to Me (Peace)," a sort of ramped-down antidote to the relative anxiety of the rest of the album. As I Am, Keys' third studio release, pounds and caresses ivory, yet Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder carry equal weight with Streisand and Minelli since the singer soars from a much larger stage.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 83 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 74 out of 83
  2. Negative: 5 out of 83
  1. LuisG.
    Feb 20, 2008
    NO ONE is a powerful song keys deliverance is better that ever mature and secure.... some misteps " superwoman" flaws a perfect album... NO ONE is a powerful song keys deliverance is better that ever mature and secure.... some misteps " superwoman" flaws a perfect album... lesson learned with john mayer is amazing... KEY TRACKS: wreckless love, the thing about you, i need you. Full Review »
  2. Alexandra-
    Feb 4, 2008
    Very good album, I like very much songs like 'No one', 'Like you'll never see me again', 'Tell you Very good album, I like very much songs like 'No one', 'Like you'll never see me again', 'Tell you something', 'The thing about love'...and a great voice, probably the best;)...keep doing your thing, Alicia...Succes! Full Review »
  3. ReeseM.
    Dec 4, 2007
    Shae could have done better, but what I want to know is why is Tre Songz not on this site he has one of the best albums of the year.