You wouldn’t know it through my past reviews, but I do love myself some nice pop music; mostly in the form of piano pop. From Ben Folds, to Sara Barielles, even Christina Perri (to an extent), the little sub-genre has a nice place in my collection of music. Not only are the songs catchy, but contains a lot of lyrical content that make myself, the listener, relate to what they’re saying. Also, and most importantly, they have something that a lot of other pop acts out there can’t say; they are instrumentally talented.
This leads me to Ingrid Michaelson. In the past, I only knew her for two songs; the holiday duet she did with the aforementioned Barielles, and the clown-tastic music video for her song “The Way I Am.” So I was understandably nervous about jumping into her newest LP Human Again. Luckily for me, the singer/songwriter doesn’t disappoint.
Coming from a person who doesn’t know a lot about Michaelson, I was very surprised by how Human Again opened up. “Fire” has the lyrical prowess that she’s known for, however backed by a rather aggressive orchestral beats. That isn’t the only song on here that caught my attention: “Black and Blue” is backed by a rather hip-pop score, while “Palm of Your Hand” is a driving rock song – each of which contain rather bleak, emotional lyrics. The last half of this album is rather strong; Human Again‘s first single “Ghost” is a light, relaxing pop song that should have no problem climbing Vh1’s music show.
Although the nice, light, poppy songs throughout the album are nice, Michaelson really excels in the slow ballads. “I’m Through” and “How We Love” are two beautiful, flowing soft songs, each really showcases Ingrid’s writing skills and amazing voice. My favorite track on the album is the second to last “Keep Warm,” which sounds like the perfect song that anyone can put onto a Winter season mixtape for your respective loved one.
There are a couple of tracks that didn’t really grab me (“In the Sea”), but that doesn’t take away from how catchy Human Again is. This is an album that could finally put her on the commercial level that Barielles and Perri are on right now, which I feel is well deserved and now a bit overdue. Human Again is a relaxing, emotional, and well delivered album, from front to back.
Final Grade: B+
Go Download: “Keep Warm”