Let Freedom Reign

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Let Freedom Reign
Studio album by Chrisette Michele
Released November 30, 2010
Recorded 2009–2010
Genre R&B[1]
Length 44:51
Label Def Jam
Producer Chrisette Michelle (exec.), Chuck Harmony, L.A. Reid (exec.)
Chrisette Michele chronology
Epiphany
(2009)
Let Freedom Reign
(2010)
Better
(2013)
Singles from Let Freedom Reign
  1. "I'm a Star"
    Released: September 28, 2010
  2. "Goodbye Game"
    Released: November 16, 2010
  3. "I Don't Know Why, But I Do"
    Released: November 22, 2010

Let Freedom Reign is the third studio album by American R&B recording artist Chrisette Michele, released November 30, 2010 on Def Jam Recordings. Production for the album took place at several recording studios and was handled entirely by record producer Chuck Harmony, who also co-wrote most of the album with Michele.

The album debuted at number 25 on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 42,000 copies in its first week. Upon its release, Let Freedom Reign received positive reviews from most music critics, who complimented its production and Michele's singing.

Background[edit]

Recording sessions for the album took place at various recording locations, including KMA Studios and The Cutting Room in New York, New York, Vanilla Sky Studios in North Hollywood, California, and Westlake Recording Studios in Los Angeles, California.[2] The album was produced entirely by Chuck Harmony.[3]

Reception[edit]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number 25 on the US Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 42,000 copies in the United States.[4] It also entered at seven on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and at number 12 on its Digital Albums chart.[5][6]

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[7]
Entertainment Weekly (B+)[1]
New York Daily News 3/5 stars[8]
The New York Times (favorable)[9]
The Philadelphia Inquirer 3/4 stars[10]
USA Today 3/4 stars[11]

Let Freedom Reign received positive reviews from most music critics. Allmusic writer Andy Kellman gave it four out of five stars and complimented its "upbeat disposition", calling it "the most energetic of Chrisette’s three albums".[7] Entertainment Weekly's Simon Vozick-Levinson noted Michele's "assured performances" and commended her "timelessly sleek voice" and the album's "crisp, understated backdrops".[1] Elysa Gardner of USA Today gave the album three out of four stars and complimented her "tangy singing, a distinctly feminine mix of silvery sensuality and catch-in-the-throat yearning".[11]

Despite writing favorably of its arrangements and Michele's vocals, New York Daily News writer Jim Farber found the album's subject matter clichéd and wrote that it "seems torn between mainstream R&B and something more profound".[8] The Philadelphia Inquirer's A.D. Amorosi viewed that it "is not as focused as her previous albums", but complimented Michele's "elegant voice" and commented that "little in her catalog stands out as gorgeously as the ferocious ballad 'Goodbye Game'".[10] Nate Chinen of The New York Times responded negatively to Michele's rapping on the album's title track, calling her verses "artless and stiff".[9] However, Chinen commented more favorably of its other songs and wrote that "Michele is at her best redressing infringements more personal than political in nature".[9]

Track listing[edit]

  • All tracks were produced by Chuck Harmony.[3]
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Fairy Tales and Castles (Part 1)"   Chrisette Payne, Charles Harmon 0:34
2. "I’m a Star"   Shaffer Smith, Harmon 4:13
3. "Number One"   Payne, Linette Payne, Harmon 3:37
4. "Fairy Tales and Castles (Part 2)"   Payne, Harmon 0:28
5. "I Don’t Know Why, But I Do"   John Stephens, Jazmine Sullivan 3:59
6. "Let Freedom Reign" (feat. Talib Kweli & Black Thought) Payne, Harmon, Talib Greene, Tariq Trotter 4:21
7. "Goodbye Game"   Payne, Harmon 3:57
8. "So Cool"   Smith, Harmon 4:00
9. "So in Love" (feat. Rick Ross) Payne, Harmon, William Roberts 4:12
10. "So in Love (Skit)"     0:11
11. "I'm Your Life"   Payne, Harmon 3:14
12. "I'm from NY (Skit)"     0:17
13. "Unsaid"   Payne, Harmon 4:23
14. "If Nobody Sang Along"   Payne, Harmon 3:45
15. "I Know Nothing"   Payne, Harmon 3:40

Personnel[edit]

Credits for Let Freedom Reign adapted from Allmusic.[12]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2010) Peak
Position
US Billboard 200[13] 25
US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[5] 7

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Vozick-Levinson, Simon (November 24, 2010). Review: Let Freedom Reign. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2010-11-28.
  2. ^ Product Notes – Let Freedom Reign. Muze. Retrieved on 2011-01-02.
  3. ^ a b Track listing and credits as per liner notes for Let Freedom Reign album
  4. ^ Caulfield, Keith (December 8, 2010). Boyle Back to No. 1 on Billboard 200, Peas Begin At No. 6. Billboard. Retrieved on 2010-12-12.
  5. ^ a b R&B/Hip-Hop Albums – Week of December 18, 2010. Billboard. Retrieved on 2010-12-12.
  6. ^ Chrisette Michele Album & Song Chart History – Digital Albums. Billboard. Retrieved on 2010-12-12.
  7. ^ a b Kellman, Andy (November 27, 2010). Review: Let Freedom Reign. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2010-11-28.
  8. ^ a b Farber, Jim (December 7, 2010). Review: Let Freedom Reign. New York Daily News. Retrieved on 2010-12-12.
  9. ^ a b c Chinen, Nate (December 10, 2010). Review: Let Freedom Reign. The New York Times. Retrieved on 2011-01-02.
  10. ^ a b Amorosi, A.D. (December 19, 2010). Review: Let Freedom Reign. The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved on 2011-01-02.
  11. ^ a b Gardner, Elysa (December 5, 2010). Review: Let Freedom Reign. USA Today. Retrieved on 2010-12-05.
  12. ^ Credits: Let Freedom Reign. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2010-11-28.
  13. ^ Chrisette Michele Album & Song Chart History – Billboard 200. Billboard. Retrieved on 2010-12-09.