Release Date: May 5, 2009
Genre(s): R&B, Soul
Record label: Def Jam
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Chrisette Michele is one of those artists who suffers from the bifurcated way black music is marketed and sold—and consumed. She’s too good a singer to be a pop star. And too young and hip hop-inspired to be relegated to the neo-soul, adult contemporary section of the record store. (Is there even an AC section on Itunes?) Or so we are told.
Chrisette Michele's very good debut, I Am, won a couple Grammys but did not did not have corresponding commercial success. None of its three singles reached the Top 20 of the R&B/Hip-Hop chart. The album itself barely dented the Top 30 of the Billboard 200. She co-wrote each one of its songs and passed on the opportunity to record "Irreplaceable," later taken on by Beyoncé and made into one of 2006's biggest singles.
”I am not your porcelain doll,” Michele tells a soon-to-be ex in one of the many breakup songs included on her sophomore disc. Judging by the fiery vocal performances found throughout the disc, you had better believe her; this neo-soul siren is all flesh and blood. Yet while it makes a virtue of Michele’s strong-female fortitude, Epiphany all too rarely balances that heat with hooks — surprising, given the participation of Ne-Yo, R&B’s premier melody man.
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