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Time away from the spotlight can be a bad thing.

But for Chrisette Michele, it was a necessary thing. Without the break, there is a strong possibility she wouldn’t be sitting in her Williamsburg apartment on a crisp morning, excitedly talking about her brand new album, Better.

To say the album title is fitting would be an understatement. Chrisette is giddy and proud to share the name of her fourth album with anyone who asks if only because she is a living embodiment of the word. “I’ve sang a lot of broken-hearted love songs because I had a broken heart from love,” says Chrisette. “I began to write a little bit darker. And for me, dark just means a song that doesn’t have a happy ending.”

On Better, even when Chrisette is laying her heart out on a table, she sounds confident and composed. Whether it’s the emotional Prince-like balladry of “You Mean That Much To Me” or the stern warning of “Snow,” Chrisette sounds independent and resolute. Even on “Soopa” a song where she explains to her lover that she won’t always be the perfect woman, Chrisette isn’t apologizing for her flaws as much she’s telling him, take it or leave it, and if you leave it, that’s okay.

Chrisette’s 18-month long journey to be the better hasn’t been completely downtrodden. “There were some really, really low and really, really high moments,” says Chrisette. “So over the past year and a half, I took the time to regroup and pull my heart together.” Chrisette insists her time away had little to do with the music industry and more to do with how she was feeling within. Around the time she began to promote her last album, “Let Freedom Reign,” Chrisette felt what in hindsight looked to be burnout. She was physically, mentally, emotionally, and artistically fatigued. So she took time for herself, traveling the world as a global citizen instead of an artist.

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