Chrisette Michele: Live Last Night

kurt vile

Live Last Night

Although R&B wouldn't exist if artists weren't willing to divulge their romantic troubles, when it came time for singer Chrisette Michele to start writing material for her sophomore album, "Epiphany," she hesitated to get personal. The 26-year-old Long Island native told her audience at the Birchmere on Monday night that she thought it would be "embarrassing" to put too much of her business in the street.

Good thing Michele got over that fear. On "Epiphany" she does what soul singers have been doing for as long as soul music has existed and she does it well -- setting the dirty details of a recent break-up of hers to music.

(Read the rest of the review after the jump.)

After Atlanta singer Anthony David warmed up the crowd, Michele previewed several tracks from the new album, due May 5. The title track, with its sing-song classic girl group feel, explored what self-help folks would call the "aha! moment" when Michele decided to bail on her boyfriend. "Playing Our Song" details the feeling of turning on the radio and hearing a song that reminds you of the one you used to love. "Blame It on Me" is a tough little ballad about the willingness to accept responsibility for a relationship's end just to get out of it more quickly.

Even when Michele performed happier love songs, such as her "If I Have My Way" and other material from her 2007 debut, "I Am Me," the singer/songwriter included little asides to let us know they weren't exactly reflective of her life right now. She dedicated the commitment-praising "Golden" to "everyone who's in love--that's not me!"

--SARAH GODFREY

By David Malitz |  April 28, 2009; 12:03 PM ET
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