Better by Chrisette Michele
Released: Jun 2013
Label: Def Jam Records
Being stuck between the futurist musings of Erykah Badu and the populist ballads of Ledisi has left Chrisette Michele saddled with the unfortunate "underrated" tag. She's not a singles artist, so it takes a deep dive into Better to appreciate how she adapts her voice to fit a song, whether it's a pleading strain on "Let Me Win" or a coyly dismissive lilt on "Charades"; and how the arrangements on "Snow" seem more dense than the usual adult R&B fare. A closing duet with Bilal is an ingenious idea, bringing together two soul innovators slowly but surely pushing their art form forward.
Mosi Reeves
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