Someone destroyed Ingrid Michaelson’s heart, and she’s telling the world about it in her new album, Human Again. As in her previous four albums, Ingrid tackles such conventional pop music themes and spins them with her unusual melodies and unique (occasionally bizarre) lyrics to create music devoid of clichés. This only makes her songs that much more thought-provoking; I don’t think I’ve ever thought about how “we hate the rain when it fills up our shoes, but how we love when it washes our cars,” but it functions perfectly as the main metaphor in “How We Love” for capturing the fickle essence of love. Despite the overarching theme of heart- break, you don’t have to be in a miserable mood to appreciate the album; there are a few songs that escape her heart-broken rage, such as “Blood Brothers,” which as the name suggests, encourages human connection.
While her lyrical prowess thankfully hasn’t changed, Ingrid exhibits a musical maturity with more complex arrangements. In conjunction with producer David Kahne, Ingrid includes string instruments in many of her new songs. This is a new sound for her, as many of her older songs are driven by simpler piano, guitar and drum arrangements. A few of her songs retain this simplicity, such as “How We Love,” but most assert this fuller sound, like the single from the album, “Ghost.” She fully exhibits her flexibility as an artist with this album, demonstrating her ability to successfully explore new musical territory.
Ingrid fans old and new won’t be disappointed with this latest release, heart-broken or not.
By Carolyn Meklenburg