Alicia Keys is the musical equivalent of a five-tool player in baseball: She excels at singing, writing, playing, producing and performing in concert — and as a bonus, she's the rare diva who's blessed with both a photogenic exterior and a brain that can be described as "fully functioning." No wonder her decision to put herself in the hands of song doctor Linda Perry for much of As I Am, her latest CD, seemed so quizzical. After all, she didn't need the same sort of reclamation work as, say, Pink, whom Perry helped transform from a video trollop to a tough, funny video trollop. But if the resulting album sounded mildly compromised, there's no denying its success: At a time when shifting 500,000 units is the equivalent of selling five million a few years ago, As I Am has been certified triple platinum. Guess even a hit-master like Keys can use a little help from a teammate or two.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.