The Review: Chrisette Michele’s Sophomore Album ‘Epiphany’

She was the mystery voice behind Nas’ Hip Hop is Dead, Jay-Z’s Kingdom Come and The Game’s Let Us Live. She grew up in New York City and was nominated for best new artist at the BET awards as well as two Grammy awards. Do you know who I’m talking about? If you guessed Chrisette Michele then you are correct. It was just over two years ago when we last heard this Jazz R&B singer on I am, her debut album. Now a little older and wiser at 26 years old, she admits she was too “laid back and shy” when she recorded her debut LP. With the release of her new album, executive produced by Ne-Yo, she is making sure everyone knows what Chrisette Michele is all about. However the past few years haven’t always been the happiest. Chrisette found herself in a sticky situation with her former boyfriend and manger Douglas “Biggs” Ellison. And things quickly got out of hand when allegations of embezzlement and harassment began to surface. Many up-and-coming artists might have handled this situation differently, but for Chrisette Michele, she used music as a way to escape from the pain and hurt. Using love as the theme for her sophomore album, Epiphany, she opens up and lets us join her on a bumpy rollercoaster ride. With her first single, which is titled after the aforementioned LP, we are graced with Chrisette’s wonderful vocals. During this mid-tempo song, she lets women know its ok to leave their man if things don’t work out. “You give me some excuse/Like you always do/I just kiss your cheek/And this is what I tell you/So I think I’m just about over being your girlfriend/I’m leaving, I’m leaving.” Though this track has a strong message, she makes it enjoyable and playful with the upbeat flow of the song. I can see it now… women all across the country humming while they kick their boyfriends to the curb. Fellas if you don’t want to end up like the dude Chrisette Michele is singing about, you might want to step your game up feel me? Just a thought! Ms. Michele delivers another strong performance when she pours her heart out in “On My Own.” It is during this very somber ballad that we see how deeply she is and can feel the pain she is going through. “I’m on my own…can’t let you in now.” But wait a minute… isn’t love suppose to be a good thing? Well it is in “All I Ever” and “Notebook.” Chrisette discovers what it’s like to fall for someone and to truly love again. Throughout Epiphany we are taken on an emotional rollercoaster but it is one we don’t want to get off. Not only are the songs powerful in terms of its meaning but just hearing Chrisette Michele’s voice is defiantly something worth listening to. She can give us a high pitch falsetto sort of like a female Prince but she can also deliver some deep notes like a Toni Braxton. And what about her style? Is she a Jazz singer or an R&B singer? After listening to Epiphany I would consider her somewhere in between. She no doubt carries the sultry jazz quality but there is a nice mix of both that keeps us wanting more. I think it’s safe to say Ladies and gentlemen true rhythm and blues is back. Please welcome Chrisette Michele.

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