Let Freedom Reign
Label: Def Jam Recordings
Chrisette Michele's impressive range is evident in her choice of guest stars: Not every artist can duet with both Talib Kweli and Rick Ross. A pessimistic person might attribute such ambivalence to a lack of focus -- and Freedom does lack the stylistic cohesion of Michele's vintage-hued debut. But perhaps Michele just has too much grace and talent to be contained within one concept. Instead, she tries her lovely hand at both snappy politicizing (the title track) and smart love ballads ("So in Love"), then closes the album out with three tracks that showcase her considerable vocal chops.