By Tiffany Lewars
When I initially got word of Chrisette Michele’s latest musical venture, I was beyond elated. One of my favorite vocalists channeled my favorite Hollywood icon, Audrey Hepburn, for inspiration on her next mixtape, Audrey Hepburn: An Audiovisual Presentation. But after the release of the project’s first single, my excitement has quickly diminished.
In preparation for her new music, Michele traveled all over Europe retracing the steps of the late Hepburn so she could create her new mixtape. The first single off the mixtape, “Charades,” featuring rapper 2 Chainz references Hepburn’s 1963 film Charade, in which Hepburn’s character was pursued by a number of men who were only after her late husband’s fortune.
When I think of Hepburn, clean, chic, fun, class, and an unattainable timeless elegance come to mind. Michele’s single contains none of those elements. The track is cute, at least. Its lyrics speak of a man who is playing games with Michele, much like the theme of Hepburn’s movie. Its production upholds the modernity of the music we hear today with a hint of T-Pain influence.
However, the addition of 2 Chainz on the track makes the song a sad joke. His mediocre and Sesame Street lyrical flow makes a mockery of the art Michele is looking to create. I expected Michele to maintain the timeless feel of old Hollywood and, specifically, that of Hepburn.
A multi-talented singer/songwriter like Michele should be able to capture the essence of Hepburn through her music, but if the rest of this mixtape is anything like “Charades,” Hepburn will be rolling in her grave. I’m not entirely writing Michele off, but hope that the remainder of this project will be a lot more impressive.