I Am by Chrisette Michele


Play on Napster
Label: Def Jam Recordings
Rich and buoyant, Chrisette Michele's striking voice coils around her classically minded compositions with a warmth that recalls both Jennifer Hudson and Jill Scott. And though she does have a good range, her phrasing is thankfully restrained; she never tries to overwhelm her songs with meandering excursions into melisma. Instead, she feels her way through tracks like "Good Girl" and "Be Ok," and emerges with a sound that is genuinely soulful. The perfect album for those who like Xtina and Amy Winehouse in theory, but feel the execution is too forced and the end product rather contrived.

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