Epiphany (Chrisette Michele album)

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Epiphany
Studio album by Chrisette Michele
Released May 5, 2009 (2009-05-05) (U.S.)
Recorded 2008–2009
Genre R&B, pop, soul
Length 46:03
Label Def Jam
Producer Ne-Yo, Chuck Harmony, Allstar, Darkchild, Bei Maejor
Chrisette Michele chronology
I Am
(2007)
Epiphany
(2009)
Let Freedom Reign
(2010)
Singles from Epiphany
  1. "Epiphany"
    Released: January 27, 2009
  2. "Blame It on Me"
    Released: May 12, 2009
  3. "What You Do"
    Released: July 7, 2009
  4. "Fragile"
    Released: November 12, 2009

Epiphany is the second studio album by American R&B and soul singer–songwriter Chrisette Michele, released May 5, 2009 on Def Jam Recordings in the United States. Recording sessions for the album took place during 2008 to 2009. In January 2009, the title track "Epiphany" was released as its lead single.[1]

Epiphany debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, while selling 83,000 copies in its first week. Upon its release, the album received generally positive reviews from music critics, based on an aggregate score of 71/100 from Metacritic.[2]

Background[edit]

R&B recording artist Ne-Yo co-wrote and co-produced several songs.

Chrisette Michele told Billboard '​s Mariel Concepcion that her new album would be "more upbeat and youthful".[3] Production for the album was handled by Chuck Harmony, Claude Kelly, Bei Maejor, and Ne-Yo.[3]

Michele says one of her favorite tracks is the piano-based "Blame It on Me", in which she croons, "Blame it on me/Say it's my fault/Say I left you out in the cold with a broken heart/I really don't care/I'm not crying no more/Say I'm a liar, a cheater, say anything that you want/As long as it's over."[3] "On My Own", Michele says, reminds her of her father. "I'm very close to my dad, but recently I've learned how to handle situations on my own, without having him step in for me, and it took a lot of me to be able to do that", she admits.[3]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
About.com 4/5 stars[4]
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[5]
The Boston Globe (favorable)[6]
Entertainment Weekly (C)[7]
Los Angeles Times 3.5/4 stars[8]
The New York Times (mixed)[9]
PopMatters (8/10)[10]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[11]
Slant 3/5 stars[12]
Vibe (favorable)[13]

Commercial performance[edit]

Epiphany debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 83,000 units, giving Michele her first number 1 album on the chart.[14] As of 2010 the album has sold over 462,000 copies in the US.

Critical response[edit]

Critical response to the album was generally positive.[2] AllMusic's Andy Kellman wrote that "the material, while mostly well-crafted, runs together as a block of slow, serious songs broken up by only a couple brief upswings in energy" and how "Chrisette, naturally, sounds outstanding throughout, as a supernaturally talented vocalist whose songs are nonetheless easily relatable to anyone going through a breakup—or, to a significantly lesser extent here, newfound love." He also felt that the album "could have really used more rhythmic punch than a token throwback strutter."[5] Maiya Norton of Vibe commented on how her album gained some edge, expressing some anger and heartbreak.[13] In his consumer guide for MSN Music, critic Robert Christgau gave Epiphany a rating of honorable mention ((1-star Honorable Mention)),[15] indicating "a worthy effort consumers attuned to its overriding aesthetic or individual vision may well like".[16]

Despite noting its production as a weakness, Miami Herald writer Adrian Ruhi gave the album 3 out of 4 stars and commended Michele for her vocals.[17] In a positive review, The Koalition said that "it would seem almost impossible for Chrisette Michele to avoid the "sophomore slump", but she finds a way by simply catering to an age old rule: just create great pieces of music." In some reviews her voice has been compared to the likes of Ella Fitzgerald.[18] Giving the album four out of five stars, Timothy Michael Carson of About.com favored her unique, distinctive strong vocals, her cohesiveness, and the song "Blame It on Me", but was disappointed in the fact it had less of a jazz influence than her debut album I Am.[4]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Epiphany (I'm Leaving)" (Shaffer Smith, Chuck Harmony) – 3:28
  2. "Notebook" (Harmony, Claude Kelly) – 3:46
  3. "What You Do" (feat. Ne-Yo) (Smith, Harmony) – 3:22
  4. "Blame It on Me" (Chrisette Payne, Harmony, Kelly) – 4:09
  5. "All I Ever Think about" (Allen Gordon, Jr., Jayms Madison, Joel Campbell, Teron Beal) – 3:41
  6. "Playin' Our Song" (Rodney Jerkins, Kelly) – 3:33
  7. "Another One" (Smith, Harmony) – 3:39
  8. "On My Own" (Smith, Bei Maejor, Tim Bullock) – 3:47
  9. "Fragile" (Payne, Harmony, Kelly) – 4:15
  10. "Mr. Right" (Payne, Harmony, Kelly) – 4:23
  11. "Porcelain Doll" (Smith, Harmony) – 3:45
  12. "I'm Okay" (Smith, Harmony) – 4:18

Personnel[edit]

Musicians[edit]

  • Chrisette Michele – vocals; backing vocals (track 5)
  • Jesse Bond – guitar (tracks 4, 9, 12)
  • Chuck Harmony – drums (tracks 4, 12); guitar (track 2)
  • Claude Kelly – backing vocals (tracks 2, 4, 6, 9, 10)
  • J. Michel – backing vocals (track 5)
  • Calvin Palmer – bass (track 4)
  • Brent Paschke – guitar (track 6)

Production[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2009)[19] Peak
position
US Billboard 200 1
US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums 1

Chart procession and succession[edit]

Preceded by
Together Through Life by Bob Dylan
U.S. Billboard 200 number-one album
May 23, 2009
Succeeded by
21st Century Breakdown by Green Day

References[edit]

  1. ^ New Music: Chrisette Michele "Epiphany" Off New Album - Listen Now!
  2. ^ a b Epiphany (2009): Reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2009-11-15.
  3. ^ a b c d Concepcion, Mariel (February 24, 2009). "Chrisette Michele Has An 'Epiphany' On second album". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2009-10-11. 
  4. ^ a b Carson, Timothy Michael. "Chrisette Michele – Epiphany – About.com". About.com. Retrieved October 11, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b Kellman, Andy. "Epiphany > Review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved October 11, 2009. 
  6. ^ Capobianco, Ken (May 11, 2009). "Chrisette Michele, 'Epiphany' – The Boston Globe". The Boston Globe. Retrieved October 11, 2009. 
  7. ^ Wood, Mikael (May 18, 2009). "Epiphany – Music Review – Entertainment Weekly". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 11, 2009. 
  8. ^ Powers, Ann (May 4, 2009). "Album reviews: Ciara & Chrisette Michele". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 11, 2009. 
  9. ^ Caramanica, Jon (May 10, 2009). "Chrisette Michele – Epiphany – The New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved October 11, 2009. 
  10. ^ Lewis, Tyler. "Review: Epiphany". PopMatters. Retrieved November 15, 2009. 
  11. ^ Maerz, Melissa (May 1, 2009). "Epiphany : Chrisette Michele : Review : Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved October 11, 2009. 
  12. ^ Cinquemani, Sal (May 7, 2009). "Chrisette Michele: Epiphany – Music Review – Slant Magazine". Slant Magazine. Retrieved October 11, 2009. 
  13. ^ a b Norton, Maiya (May 5, 2009). "Chrisette Michele: Epiphany : VIBE.com". Vibe. Retrieved October 11, 2009. 
  14. ^ Caulfield, Keith (May 13, 2009). "Chrisette Michele Scores First No. 1 On Billboard 200". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved October 11, 2009. 
  15. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide: Epiphany". MSN Music: October 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-11-15.
  16. ^ Christgau, Robert. CG 90s: Key to Icons. Robert Christgau. Retrieved on 2009-03-30.
  17. ^ Ruhi, Adrian. Review: Epiphany. Miami Herald. Retrieved on 2009-11-15.
  18. ^ Johnson, Rakeem (May 2, 2009). "Chrisette Michele: Epiphany (Album Review) – The Koalition". The Koalition. Retrieved October 11, 2009. 
  19. ^ "Epiphany > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved 2009-10-11. 

External links[edit]