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."