Given the number of co-writers credited on the long-overdue new studio album from aspiring diva Alicia Keys, the recording should've been called As We Are. Not that there's anything wrong with Keys hiring a roomful of professionals - including ubiquitous song doctor Linda Perry - to write her songs if she winds up with great material to sing.
Unfortunately, composing by committee produced a horrible selection of generic I'm Gonna Love/Miss You Forever-type ballads packed tight with the most hackneyed clichés imaginable. You can't even make listening to As I Am bearable by playing guess-the-next-rhyme, because every turn of phrase is so painfully predictable.
Without any clever arrangements or production gimmicks to rely on, Keys tries to compensate for the obvious shortcomings by oversinging each syllable in a way that would make Patti LaBelle cringe. A terminal combination of bad writing, poor taste and insecurity.