I Am

I Am

4.5 16
by Chrisette Michele

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Like bold neo-soul divas Erykah Badu and Jill Scott, Chrisette Michele peppers her soul with a tasty blend of classic jazz and hip-hop. A la Ms. Scott, Michele's sparkling debut, I Am includes a song entitled "Golden." Whereas Scott's "Golden" is an upbeat ode to self-love, Michele's is a tear-jerking…  See more details below


Like bold neo-soul divas Erykah Badu and Jill Scott, Chrisette Michele peppers her soul with a tasty blend of classic jazz and hip-hop. A la Ms. Scott, Michele's sparkling debut, I Am includes a song entitled "Golden." Whereas Scott's "Golden" is an upbeat ode to self-love, Michele's is a tear-jerking Valentine to romantic commitment and a soon-to-be wedding favorite ("I'm ready to be like the olden days, when commitment was golden"). The 23-year-old got her break singing on Nas's "Can't Forget About You" and Jay-Z's "Lost One," but her smoldering vocals easily qualify her for headliner status. The breezy, ska-tinged "Let's Rock" recalls Lauryn Hill and the Bob Marley-sampled and horn-infused "Be Ok" is a delicious slice of soul-pop featuring Will.i.am. The flavorful I Am is more enjoyable each time you listen, and heralds the arrival of the fresh-faced-and-voiced Michele in grand style.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
Chrisette Michele sometimes seems more eager to please her elders than express herself straight-up. Take, for instance, "I've been studying Miss Billie, Miss Ella, Miss Sarah Vaughan, and Miss Natalie Cole", from "Let's Rock." That's reverence. And then there's "Take me back in the day, when lovin' was pure," from "Golden." She was born in 1982. Above all, there's her voice, a gently scratchy instrument that occasionally plays up the fact that none of its antecedents were born after the '60s. But that's just her voice, which adapts to each mostly fresh-sounding production on I Am, though there is no denying she is not going to impinge upon the territories staked out by most other R&B artists her age. Following strategically placed features on Jay-Z's Kingdom Come and Nas' Hip Hop Is Dead -- her roles on "Lost One," "Still Dreaming," and "Can't Forget About You" could've been mistaken for dusty samples -- the album straddles old-but-new
ew-but-old rather adeptly, and the ease with which she shifts from approach to approach is impressive. (She also co-wrote each song.) The album could've used a couple more upbeat and assertive songs in the vein of the shuffling, Run-D.M.C.-sampling, will.i.am-produced "Let's Rock" ("Let me get a verse, yeah I got nerve, don't need to rehearse, I just need to blow"), and a track with a production credit to the website SalaamRemi.com titled "Good Girl" ("Oh why do my sisters steady find misters who swear what they give her is better than quality time?"). They are two of the finest surrogate Lauryn Hill tracks of 2007. As unassuming as it is, "Mr. Radio," one of several productions from apparent newcomer Mo Jaz, is the album's key standout. Chrisette's leisurely dismissal of the love songs she's tolerating is far more seductive than her targets, and the performance is so unforced that it might just be the way she talks. Serious skills.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Def Jam

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Chrisette Michele   Primary Artist,Background Vocals
Vincent Henry   Baritone Saxophone
Steve Williamson   Clarinet
Bruce Purse   Bass Trumpet
Emily Mitchell   Bass Clarinet
Norris Sirone Jones   Guitar
Gail Kruvand   Bass
Rob Lewis   Keyboards
Sandra Park   Violin
Salaam Remi   Bass,Guitar,Piano,Drums
Lino Gomez   Bass Clarinet
Kelvin Wooten   Organ,Bass,Piano
Eileen Moon   Cello
Sharon Yamada   Violin
Lisa Kim   Violin
Qiang Tu   Cello
John Legend   Piano
Robert Smith   Drums
Face   Acoustic Guitar,Drums
Christopher Johnson   Drums
Omari Williams   Drums
Jeremy Turner   Cello

Technical Credits

Babyface   Producer
Stephen Barber   String Arrangements
Bernie Grundman   Mastering
Rob Lewis   String Arrangements
L.A. Reid   Executive Producer,Audio Production
Rubin Rivera   Engineer
Mark Roule   Digital Editing
Andrew Dawson   Engineer
Paul Boutin   Engineer
Nichell Delvaille   Photo Coordination
Doug Joswick   Package Production
Kelvin Wooten   Producer,String Arrangements
David Lee Stewart   Producer
Kevin Randolph   Producer
Anthony Gallo   Vocal Engineer
will.i.am   Producer
Jason Stasium   Engineer
C. Payne   Producer
Amber Noble   Marketing
John Legend   Producer
Riley Mackin   Engineer
Thom Chadley   Engineer
Doug "Biggs" Ellison   Programming,Executive Producer,Management,Vocal Editing
GI Joe   Producer
Christopher "Jazz" Grant   Engineer
Mo Jaz   Producer
Linette Payne   Personal Manager
Kendal "KD" Revanales   Programming,Engineer,Vocal Editing
Joseph Smart   Engineer
Patricia Yankee   grooming
Doug Ellison   Audio Production

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I Am 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It has been written that Chrisette Michele is the “Best New Artist” since John Legend. I will cosign that assessment. Record stores may be challenged as to where to place her debut CD “I Am ” jazz/New Soul/R&B/rap. How about "Top of the Chart" section? Chrisette’s raspy, strong voice and song’s lyrics both entice men, while encourages and empowers women listeners. This CD is on shuffle and repeat in my CD player rotation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I kept hearing a commercial for her CD and finally I saw it. Never heard of her but I realized she had worked with JayZ and Nas. So, I went to the website and listened to some other clips and was BLOWN AWAY! Then, I made it worse by going to YouTube and seeing some clips of her live...again BLOWN AWAY. After I found out the cd was being released the next day, I couldn't wait!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this cd. It is a rare cd that you can listen to without touching any skip buttons. It is refreshing to know that r& b is not dead. She has has filled the void that Jill Scott left after her first cd.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD is excellent from beginning to the end. Chrisette Michele's voice and music is refreshing. This CD is a great mix of jazzy R&B. I look forward to hearing more of her music in the future.
Guest More than 1 year ago
She is fire, I can't remember when I heard music that puts me in mind of Billy Holliday as much as Chrisette Michele. It make's me feel that it's ok to grow-up. It needs more air play, ops I forgotten, I don't listen to the radio any more!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This young woman is a super talent. She has an outstanding vocal range, she even makes hip hop sound like jazz. There is something for everyone on this cd. I am sure we will be hearing much about her in the future.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm not a fan of R&B, but this CD blew me away. I think it's because it's more melody-driven and less beat-driven than most R&B music today. Because of that there's more feeling and substance. I recommend, it's definitely worth your money!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD is a breathe of fresh air! Her voice is like honey, just soothing! I am glad I bought this CD just walking through the Music Department! Get it you won't be disappointed!
Guest More than 1 year ago
About time....Real Music again. Nice and Mello. I have been playing Corrine B. Rae to death, it's great having another nice, mello cd to listen to... Her voice is amazing. Shout outs to an old college friend who recommended this!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is fantastic...She has a mature voice and sound...Not enough publicity was done for this artist/album...Talented lady...
Guest More than 1 year ago
ok the lady has a great voice but where was the marketing at. Then what happen to the cd ,the poeple didnt even no it was in stores. Def jam it's time to start not being Def.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There has got to be something wrong with the powers that be at Def Jam, oh I forgot it is run by a rapper that doesn't known music. When you get an artist like this you shout it from the roof tops. This CD is classic and will go down in history as one the the greatest CD of our time. Just watch for the Billboard top 100 albums, if it is not mentioned music is dead.
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