Monday, May 4, 2009

Chrisette Michele's Career Should Benefit from Her "Epiphany"

To say that Chrisette Michele's debut was disappointing would be unfair. Her first single "If I Have My Way" was lovely, but just too adult-contemporary for her intended audience. But anyone who has heard the title track from Michele's Epiphany can tell you that the singer has developed a sound more suitable for her youth. Epiphany is fresh in every sense of the word, from production to delivery, and shows that Michele is ready to become an R&B star in her own right.

While "Epiphany" is easily the best track on the 12 song album, Michele remains satisfying throughout. The self-sacrificial "Blame it On Me" is as well-written as it is performed. Lyrics like "Sometimes it hurts to know the loving you had is slowly fading away" fall just short of melo-drama, so that listeners can find them relatable without feeling embarrased. More importantly, Michele's voice is flawless throughout the song. She has a range that sounds as elegant in its lower registers as it does in higher octaves, and delivers tons of emotion behind each note.

Check "Porcelain Doll" for a down-to-earth delivery, with plenty of attitude: "I'm a full-grown woman, I am not your porcelain doll." "Notebook" comes with every bit of the personal confession implied by the title, while "Our Song" is an airy, country inspired mid-tempo that could serve as the perfect summer break-up lament.

There's not a bad track on Epiphany, and even the Ne-Yo feature on "What You Do" doesn't sacrifice the album's sincerity.

After Epiphany, Chrisette Michele deserves a spot among R&B's hottest up-and-coming artists, right next to Jazmine Sullivan and Jennifer Hudson (who, incidently, weren't able to deliver albums nearly as satisfying). I haven't heard a better album in 2009.

Check out "Blame it On Me" and "Porcelain Doll."

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