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Chrisette Michele: I Am

B

Chrisette Michele

Album: I Am
Label: Def Jam

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On her hooks to seminal songs from Jay-Z and Nas, neo-soul newcomer Chrisette Michele came off like some forgotten '50s French chanteuse with jazz in her soul. With her Def Jam debut, Michele leaps from guest vocalist to main attraction while retaining her effervescent charm. The opening track, "Like A Dream," oozes girlish ardor as Michele's crush on a cute drummer boy is ecstatically reciprocated. On "Be Ok" and "Let's Rock," Michele plays the upbeat B-girl over Will.I.Am's anthemic boom-bap. Elsewhere, she illustrates that she needs little more than a melancholy piano to make soul music as airily seductive as a summer breeze.