ATLANTIC CITY - It didn't take long for R&B vocalist Chrisette Michele to show both sides of her musical personality Saturday at the House of Blues Atlantic City inside the Showboat Casino Hotel.
Michele, 26, showed her sassier, more assertive side on her opening song, "Epiphany (I'm Leaving)," the first single, opening song and title track of her sophomore release, "Epiphany."
"Epiphany" is a former
No. 1 CD on the top 200 albums chart and is currently at No. 4 on Billboard's top R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart.
The singer's second release hit No. 1 in its first week of release because fans of adult-sounding R&B loved her debut CD, "I Am," from 2007.
A more jazzy offering with Michele co-writing all the songs, she quickly drove into four consecutive tunes from that CD, the first of which was "Be OK," which won her a Grammy this year for best urban/alternative performance.
Whether Michele sang songs from her first or second CD, what was undeniable is that she has a powerful voice, and the jazzy vocal riffs, runs and inflections were ever present.
Michele's other side - a more hopeful, optimistic approach to music, which was more evident on her first album - quickly became evident as well when she sat behind an electric piano to sing "Love Is You."
Michele's performance of the song "Blame It On Me," from her new CD, was one of the highlights of the show. The song is about a woman who just wants her man to be gone no matter what he has to say about her, and the women in the audience gave the song and her forceful rendition of it big applause.
Another memorable moment was her live version of the tune "Your Joy" from her first CD. She sat on a stool and sang the mellow song about the love between her and her father.
Two of her singles, "If I Have My Way" and "Epiphany," placed within the top five of Billboard's hot adult R&B airplay chart. One of the songs she sang was "Playin' Our Song," which was produced by former Pleasantville-based music producer Rodney Jerkins, and she gave him a shout-out from the stage.
A New York native, Michele has not crossed over to the top 40 pop charts, but based on her live show, she's overdue.
Michele has turned into a regular here in recent years. She made her casino debut opening for Musiq Soulchild in 2007 at the Tropicana Casino and Resort. She returned a year ago with R&B vocalist Raheem DeVaughn for her first show at the House of Blues Atlantic City.