Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, R&B
I Am, her soulful debut album, is an artistic exploration that fuses 24-year old Chrisette Michele's diverse musical interests into a wonderland. "I realize that I'm new to the music world, but I've been preparing for this... more »
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I Am, her soulful debut album, is an artistic exploration that fuses 24-year old Chrisette Michele's diverse musical interests into a wonderland. "I realize that I'm new to the music world, but I've been preparing for this moment for long time," says the Long Island native. Even before signing a recording contract, Michele had performed on concert bills with more established artists like Kem, India.Arie, Angie Stone, and Lionel Richie. "India saw me singing at the Village Underground in New York City. She came backstage that first night and graciously offered me a gig as her opening act," says Michele. Working hard in the studio writing songs and recording demos, Michele finished an album's worth of material before even trying to get signed. "I've been creating songs since I was 12, so I knew I needed the right musical blend in order to stand out from the many other performers trying to get a deal." Though already a fan of gospel and classical, it wasn't until Michele was 17 that she also developed a passion for jazz. "When I was still in high school a teacher introduced me to jazz singer Astrud Gilberto, and afterwards my life was all about jazz," she remembers. With the release of I Am, Chrisette Michele will soon be sharing those musical dreams with the rest of the world.
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4 1/2 stars - Talent & Class
W. E. Phillips | USA | 06/19/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I first took note of this talented songstress when she was featured on Jay-Z's "Lost One." Now I'm no huge fan of Jay, but I instantly fell in love with the track due to Michele's amazing vocals. As she cooly sang, "sorry, I'm a champion," I knew this woman would be someone to look out for.
Despite singing refrains for both Jay and Nas, Chrisette makes it quite clear in the first few minutes of her debut that she is not your average hook-singing R&B chick. Her voice sounds like a hybrid of Jill Scott and Michelle Williams; she has the vocal prowess of a young Whitney Houston and the jazzy stylings of greats like Billie Holiday. She co-wrote each song on this album and even co-produced a song, very rare for a first album. This daughter of a church deacon also differs from the others in lyrical conent. Although in her early twenties, Michele shows maturity and class that would put these floosies to shame.
She tells "Mr. Radio" that the love songs are very nice, but realtionships aren't always a walk in the park. In "Golden," the diva proclaims that she's "so ready" for the life-long commitment of marriage. A "Good Girl" like Chrisette puts quality time over material things and society's "ideal" man. And although the money and lavish things are alright, she is admittedly not the "flashy type" and she's "In This For You." "Your Joy" is a beautiful, but not sappy, song dedicated to her dad. In "If I Have My Way," she decides to wait a little longer until making love. The diva explains that "It's Like A Dream" to her just at the thought of her crush smiling at her and liking her. She leaves a relationship pridefully, reclaiming the "Best of Me." There are also some upbeat, feel-good cuts like "Be OK" and "Let's Rock."
One listen to "Golden" and you can hear why the near legendary Antonio "LA" Reid signed her on the spot. The songs on 'I Am' are top notch material and Chrisette Michele delivers them with extreme skill. I would list all the highlight songs, but then I'd be giving you the tracklisting that already available on this page. It doesn't hurt that it features superb production from the likes of Salaam Remi, will.i.am, Babyface and even John Legend. Still, Chrisette is the star here.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is this album is superb and you should buy it. I hope that Chrisette Michele gets the success she deserves and I can see her career continuing for a long, long time. I highly recommend this album."
M. Bell | Atlanta, GA | 06/21/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This sista can sang y'all! Not just another pretty face that is a former stripper, drug dealer or street walker as some of today's trashy no talents tend to be. Miss Chrisette Michele has an incredible range. Her vocal talent brings Jill Scott and Erykah Badu to my mind. She holds her own on every track. I was just thinking what a drag this year's releases
have been. Enter Chrisette to save the day. Buy this one! Don't bootleg. Support this diva who is sure to be around for decades."
Here's her debut album, "Can't Forget About Her"......
J. Highsmith | Mitchellville, Maryland United States | 07/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was introduced to Chrisette Michele when many people were when she was featured on the chorus to Jay Z's "Lost One" and Nas' "Can't Forget About You". Her voice sounded pretty good and she even sounded good live on one of Nas' concerts that was televised by MTV2. About a week before Chrisette's debut CD "I Am" was scheduled to be released I saw a video for the track "If I Had My Way" and I was definitely impressed. This track was a slow jam talking about Chrisette wanting to be patient to give 100% of herself to her man, but if she had her way she would be ready to make that move already. Once I heard this track, I knew that I would pick up "I Am" the week that it was released.
"I Am" starts off with the refreshing "Like A Dream". Chrisette is able to express how she feels because a man that she was checking out actually is interested in her as well. This midtempo jam has an old school feel to it and is definitely reminiscent of something Jill Scott may have done. "Work It Out" is just as nice as Chrisette explains that no matter what is going wrong in her relationship with her man that she is going to give a 100% effort to work things out to stay with her man because of the way she feels about him. Babyface joins the party on "Best Of Me" as Chrisette explains a situation where she was with a man and the time came when she realized that she had to do what was best for her in the long run. She realizes that the relationship had ran its course. Babyface also produces "Your Joy" which easily ends up being one of my favorite tracks on this CD. I saw an interview where Chrisette explained that she was a writer and was trying to give some of her work to other artists. This would be a perfect track for that resume. You'll have this track on repeat for awhile. Salaam Remi, who was worked with Nas & Wyclef in the past shows up to produce "Good Girl" which has Chrisette explaining what she needs in a man and how she doesn't understand how women fall for some of the simple tricks that men pull to get women all the time. She is also stating that just because a man has money, jewelry and cars doesn't mean that all women want a man because of material things, some women just want to be treated with respect and loved. Will.I.Am who has worked on alot of CDs in the past year and a half such as Mary J. Blige's "Breakthrough", Game's "Doctor's Advocate", John Legend's "Once Again" and Nas' "Hip Hop Is Dead", produces an uptempo track in "Be OK" which basically is a nice feel good jam. Will.I.Am also drops a verse and this is a track worth listening to, it just might not be in your Top 5 favorites. On "Mr. Radio", Chrisette seems to try to bring a message to people just writing simple and unthoughtful songs just to get them to be played on the radio. The songs have no substance and are basically carried by one catch phrase like for example, Ay Bay Bay or Walk It Out. It seems as if Chrisette just wants to hear something that you may want to hear 5 years from now and not something to just stay hot for 5 months and go away. She appreciates the fact that we can hear songs on the radio but she wants to hear something with some staying power to it. In my opinion, Chrisette is at her best on "I Am" when she is singing a sweet slow jam as in "Golden". Chrisette speaks about being ready to be in love with the man of her dreams. She just wants to be able to live in the times where chivalry was still alive and most commitments between men and women actually meant something. "Let's Rock" is produced by Will.I.Am and samples Run DMC's "Here We Go". This track is also another feel jam but ends up being better than "Be Ok". "Let's Rock" sounds like a song that John Legend didn't use for "Once Again" with the way it sounds but Chrisette is able to make it work for her. Speaking of John Legend, he produces the next track "Love Is You". The track explains what Chrisette thinks the word love means and who reminds her of that definition. John should have kept this track for himself. It does have an "Ordinary People" or "Again" feel to it but Chrisette's sweet voice carries the track. Salaam Remi produces another jam with "In This For You" which I feel is Chrisette's best uptempo jam on "I Am" as Chrisette reminds me of one of my favorite r&b artists on this track in Mary J. Blige. Chrisette is letting her man know that she is with him for the long run. "Is This The Way Love Feels" has Chrisette trying to figure if the way she is feeling has anything to do with what love is supposed to feel. On the unlisted bonus track (Track 14), Chrisette displays her gospel roots as she is talking about various events that have happened in the world and to different people. It's definitely a good way to end what to me ends up being a memorable debut CD in "I Am".
In conclusion, it's nice to be able to hear a current r&b CD that has an old school feel to it. Instead of trying to change to what some people think is the only way you can make music today, which is for the younger generation by buying people a drink, doubling up, shouting Ay Bay Bay at a club and doing a 2 Step, Chrisette sticks to what she does best by making thought provoking and memorable music. LA Reid and Def Jam definitely have found a talent in Chrisette Michele. Hopefully, she gets the props that she deserves. If you are into artists such as Jill Scott, Amel Larrieux, Corinne Bailey Rae and Jazzyfatnastees, I truly believe that you will enjoy this CD from Chrisette Michele. You'll be able to tell what songs are better than the others, but overall you will be able to play this CD in its entirety.
James' Top 5
1) If I Had My Way
2) Your Joy
4) Best Of Me
5) Like A Dream
In This For You
Work It Out
Love Is You
Unlisted Bonus Track (Track 14)