Image courtesy of the Curly Nikki website.
Chrisette Michele never ceases to bewilder, beguile or amaze. In a post about three years, I said she was one of this generation’s best vocalists. She continues to lives us to this year after year. Always channeling the best of her soul and her emotions into music with the versatility that pleasingly boggles the mind and pushes boundaries. Her most recent mixtape, Audrey Hepburn: An Audiovisual Presentation, carries on in this tradition.
Image courtesy of the Hello Beautiful site.
Audrey Hepburn: An Audiovisual Presentation is “a dedication to the artistic vision inspired by Audrey Hepburn and the #RichHipster movement.” The nine-track mixtape features Robert Glasper, Kenneth Whalum, 2 Chainz, Nello Luchi, Wale, Dunson, Bilal, Guitar Slayer, Lem Payne, and Fogo. Audrey Hepburn is both classic and modern in terms of sound and style and has a laidback groove that makes for pleasing, easy listening. It’s soulful cool. Hip-Hop cool. Jazzy cool. Funky cool. Classy cool. Sassy cool. Sultry cool. It’s everything we’ve come to love about about Michele (and maybe more).
While the mixtape is enjoyable in its entirety, personal favorites include “Can The Cool Be Loved” featuring Bilal and Dunson, “Charades” featuring 2 Chainz, “Pray Me Well” featuring Robert Glasper, “Rich Hipster” featuring Wale, and “My Fair Lady” featuring Guitar Slayer. Audrey Hepburn is an excellent treat to tie us fans over until the release of her next studio album.
And speaking of her next studio album, I, like many fans, was so happy to come across another unexpected treat online a few weeks ago in “Better,” the title track from Michele’s next album. Featured on the recent Motown Music Sampler Vol. 1, Michele continues to dazzle us vocally, lyrically, and musically on “Better.” On this soul-stirring, mid-tempo R&B tune, Michele sings about the search for love and how “love’s gotta make me feel better” because “getting to love’s got me losing my mind.” It’s honest music that many will be able to relate to. “Better” is powerful enough to resonate with fans the same way “Blame It On Me,” “Epiphany,” “Love Is You,” “Goodbye Game,” and “If I Had My Way” did.
What I love (or one of the things I love) most about Chrisette Michele is that she’s a risk taker. She’s not afraid to do what moves her and to share what she’s going through. She enjoys breaking outside of the box. Boxes and categorization can limit our growth and progress. They also can hinder our ability to see ourselves (and others) in totality (seeing, appreciating, celebrating, and respecting all we bring to the table). We’ve got to be free, especially when we wish to be our most creative, authentic selves. That’s the plane Michele is on. And as revealed in her recent Singersroom interview, you can see, feel, and hear a deeper faith, strength, and confidence in Michele both personally and musically. From Audrey Hepburn to Better and beyond, there’s no stopping the force that is Chrisette Michele.
Download Chrisette Michele’s mixtape Audrey Hepburn: An Audiovisual Presentation from the Coast 2 Coast Mixtapes site.