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K. Michelle – ‘More Issues Than Vogue’ (Album Review)

By Michael Mirrorcle / Published on Tuesday, 29 Mar 2016 18:51 PM / 1 Comment

Artist: K. Michelle
Album: More Issues Than Vogue
Genre: R&B
Score: 89/100
Standout(s): All I Got, Make the Bed, Sleep Like A Baby

How do you describe a feeling? Is it something can even be explained in words? Many try their luck to translate a feeling to words that can be understood. Sometimes these words still can’t measure up. And this is why people sing. They sing the pain that dwells in the heart, the sorrow that keeps up late at night, and the misery to shakes our soul. K. Michelle has a firm grasp on this concept. Through her struggles, missteps and mistakes the translation of feelings comes to fruition. In order to sing from a place of sincerity, you must experience and endure these complex emotions. K. Michelle’s first album Rebellious Soul was cut from the finest of sorrow and pain. Her sophomore album Anybody Wanna Buy A Heart? was the aftermath of fighting for love but losing the war. The anguish festered throughout the entire album. Where does one go from that state of desolation?

Learning from her mistakes and taking accountability, this new album finds K. Michelle growing past the pain and finding new strength. In making the album, K. Michelle sought to redefine her sound and her message. The tug-o-war which played out on her reality show K. Michelle: My Life, she and her producer’s vision for her third album clashed. How long can one sing about “He Did Me Wrong” or man-bashing before becoming bored with your own narrative? Sagacious K. Michelle came to this conclusion and her cerebral instinct is pretty evident. Her lead single Not A Little Bit was a touch more heartfelt. The R&B ballad lead by a beautiful piano melody finds K. Michellefinding strength to move on from a toxic relationship. This song also boasts one of K. Michelle’s best vocal performances to date.

More Issues Than Vogue takes away the blame and looks for answers from within. This self-reflection shows a certain level of growth and maturity. K. Michelle is speaking from a place of experience and wisdom. It’s refreshing to hear. Aside from subject matter, the musicality has been amplified. The sublime instrumentation on All I Got is breathe-taking. The string section is glorious and enchanting. K. Michelle’s vocal performance is optimistic and affectionate. The vocal arrangements are gorgeously layered with her strong crescendos.

She was adamant about shifting her sound away from urban records. Though there is no shortage of urban records on this album, she managed to get her way. Her foray into pop music on this album was easily the highlight. Her duet with Pop/R&B singer Jason Derulo Make The Bed is an synthpop/R&B mid-tempo. K. Michelle’s ability to fit her voice onto a track that’s far from her norm is amazing. Her vocal approach is soulful but light. She sounds comfortable on this kind of Top 40 song. It’s a fantastic departure from her usual R&B stylings.

This album has a mature energy and vibe to it. It’s soulful and gives nods to R&B of yesteryear. K. Michelle sounds amazing as ever. But this time around, she’s teaching lessons that she’s learned and being more objective. That’s not to say this album isn’t emotional. The emotion is rooted in the core of the album but her perspective isn’t clouded by emotion. She’s singing from the sincerest part of herself. The production of the album is marvelous. K. Michelle has been consistent with improving the quality of her records with each release. She may have more issues than Vogue, but they are definitely worth the read.

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About Michael Mirrorcle

Pop Music Aficionado, Video Game and Comic Book nerd, Producer/Host of Rushdown Radio, Michael T. Brewer is a passionate journalist who has been a contributing writer for various digital media in Chicago, IL. Currently a student at Harold Washington College pursing a degree in Journalism, Michael continues to sharpen his skills and further expanding his musical repertoire. His diverse musical tastes stems from his childhood. With five older siblings living together during the 90s, his home was filled with music from Nirvana, Toni Braxton, Aaliyah, Anita Baker, No Doubt, Tupac and so many others. Michael has a deep love and admiration for Pop music specifically. Michael is dedicated to perfecting his craft to critique Pop music with an analytical approach and scope that is not synonymous with the genre.