R&B songstress, Chrisette Michele, returns with her sophmore album “Epiphany,” an album that focuses primarily on all the aspects of a relationship. Despite being featured on many songs by acclaimed artists like Jay-Z and Nas, as well as the popular Roots’ jam, “Rising Down,” Michele is not quite a household name--at least not yet. Her first album, As I Am, only received minimal success. Michele hopes to acquire more success this time around with “Epiphany” as she leaves the majority of the songwriting and production to Ne-Yo.
Songs like the title track “Epiphany (I‘m Leaving)” exhibits Ne-Yo’s influence throughout the album. The song, with its playful, rhythmic piano melody and mid-tempt cadence has garnered popularity in the music charts. It is a catchy breakup song in which Michele is pretty much “over” the monotony of a relationship. The song is nice because of its relatable subject matter and leads a trend of songs that anyone can listen to and automatically engage in. In “Notebook,” Michele sings about not having the courage to tell her crush how she really feels, so she writes it all in her notebook. It’s cute, catchy song that anyone can identify with.
It’s obvious that Michele is trying to appeal to a larger audience, deviating from her initial jazzy vibe to a more pop/R&B tone that is easier to consume in this music industry. Despite this switch of sound, this works in her favor because if one thing hasn’t changed, it is her amazing vocal talent that is showcased throughout this entire album. She exhibits her vocal range to its fullest extent in the powerful “Blame It On Me.” Those real squeaks and gasps of emotion in the midst of stunning notes gives this song its power. One moment her voice is swinging upwards and in another moment she is singing like a bird, tackling each note with perfection. Her talent only proves her worthiness of numerous comparisons to Ella Fitzgerald.
This is an album that definitely truimphs over the “sophmore slump” and will hopefully give her the credit and attention she deserves.