The Essential Chrisette Michele – ‘Epiphany’

Our very own Refiloe Lichaba looks back on the R&B songstresses Chrisette Michele's finest album

Chrisette Michele’s Epiphany, released in 2009, is essential for people that enjoy unique vocals and relatable lyrics. She evokes various emotions associated with love through her jazzy voice. This was the prime of her career so it’s fitting we revisit her best album.

Most of the songs are good so no one would wonder if resources were being wasted in the studio. I’ll guide y’all through notable songs off of the album. If you listen to “Notebook,” “All I Ever Think About,” “Blame it on Me,” and “Epiphany (I’m Leaving),” you will either experience or relive the stages of love.

“Notebook”, which has a distinct R&B feel to it, realistically depicts experiencing a (requited) crush. The opening lines “I’m feelin’ you, you feelin’ me/ But still we can’t be together/ I got a feelin’/ You got these same feelin’s/ Too bad we can’t feel ‘em together” is the early stage where you and your crush are feeling each other out. The chorus “Write in my notebook/ X’s and O’s/ Beside your name” brings up memories of wanting to kiss (X) and hug (O) your crush. Back in the day when you were a child you probably wrote your crush’s name in a notebook. The beauty of this song is in the innocence she uses to describe having a crush.

If you have successfully started a relationship with someone you were crushing on, then “All I Ever Think About” is right in your lane. Even if you haven’t been in a relationship, this song is great for you to hear about elements of a relationship that you’ve missed out on. “All I Ever Think About” has a neo-soul vibe that really compliments Chrisette Michele’s jazzy tone. She sings the chorus “And I guess I never really ever loved no one (All I ever think about is you)/ From the rising of the moon to the setting of the sun (It’s overwhelming and I’m feeling so confused)” with the soul of a Baptist choir. “All I Ever Think About” has one of the most complete sounds of a soul song. Bonus: you can hit a nice two-step to this.

Chrisette Michele’s voice could have limited the kinds of songs she makes. But what makes this album so great is the versatility she shows. “Blame it on Me” and “Epiphany (I’m Leaving)” talk about leaving a partner, but have very different sounds. “Blame it on Me”, which starts with heavy drums and the line “Sometimes you can work it out/ Sometimes you can’t” speaks to many of us, especially those who have been through it. This song embodies several blues’ elements as Chrisette Michele emotionally sings the chorus (as if she’s on the brink of crying). The verses sound very rational, while the pre-chorus brings out the extreme pain that we feel at the end of a relationship. The song mimics emotions after a breakup one day you’re okay but the next you’re an emotional wreck. Overall, the song’s message is once a relationship is over- it’s over. The main single off the album, “Epiphany (I’m Leaving)”, did well on the charts. It has a more commercial R&B and light hearted sound. If you’ve recently experienced a breakup, you might enjoy this more than “Blame it on Me.” I won’t say the song is fun.

But it’s fun.

The upbeat chorus will have you singing along “So I think I’m just about over being your girlfriend/ I’m leaving, I’m leaving.” This song is approved for two-stepping and celebrating a breakup; let’s face it, it’s okay to be single.

To reiterate, no studio resources were wasted during the production of this album. Most of the songs are good. The ones mentioned in this article, however, are the ones that make this album essential.





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1 Comment

  1. Nina Mahase says

    Awesome sauce, great article!
    The songs were described so well!!

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