Alicia Keys has penciled in an Oct. 23 release date for her third J Records album, "As I Am." Songwriter Linda Perry chipped in with three songs, including "The Thing About Love," which Keys premiered

Alicia Keys has penciled in an Oct. 23 release date for her third J Records album, "As I Am." Songwriter Linda Perry chipped in with three songs, including "The Thing About Love," which Keys premiered on Saturday at the Live Earth concert in East Rutherford, N.J.

Sporting a more rock- and funk-edged vibe to her usual grooves, "As I Am" also finds Keys working with Mark Batson, Kerry "Krucial" Brothers and Harold Lilly Jr. Guests include John Mayer and Floetry singer Marsha Ambrosius.

Keys characterizes her brainstorming with Perry as "not quite the same old thing. My roots are soul, hip-hop and jazz. She's rock but soulful as well." Adding that their pairing transcends any perceived barriers, she says with a laugh, "Together we're talking worldwide domination."

Overall, six new songs previewed by Billboard exhibit the creative freedom that Keys says fuels the rest of the album. "Being able to be so free with no expectations ... the results surpass whatever I could imagine," she enthuses. "I am thankful and blessed at how this music is coming out."

The only upcoming date on Keys' schedule is a Sept. 6 appearance at the annual Fashion Rocks Concert at New York's Radio City Music Hall.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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