Ingrid Michaelson may be an unfamiliar name to some, but the female singer/songwriter has been around for quite some time. The indie artist self-released her first album, Slow the Rain, in 2005, and now nine years later, she releases her fifth album, Lights Out. Michaelson’s songs do not dominate airwaves, but her trademark sound is certainly recognizable: she sings simple melodies and honest lyrics with her unique voice. Lights Out has songs that adhere to Michaelson’s classic style, while others take an exciting departure.
Her soft and endearing voice makes mellow songs like “Wonderful Unknown” perfect for a rainy day playlist, but she also packs emotion into songs like the heartbreaking final track, “Everyone is Gonna Love Me Now.” However, she is capable of perfectly transitioning to more upbeat songs like the album’s first single, “Girls Chase Boys.” In the track “Afterlife,” she takes the overused “carpe diem” motif and creates an anthem that is nothing close to cheesy, singing lines like “We’re gonna live tonight like there’s no tomorrow ‘cause we’re afterlife” over catchy whistle-like tunes. She once again showcases these powerhouse capabilities on the country-sounding, foot-stomping tracks “Warpath” and “Time Machine.”
The album is also full of collaborations, with six of the fourteen tracks featuring other artists. “One Night Town,” a track that features Matt Kearney, is filled with pop beats and the track “You Got Me” is a love-professing duet with Storyman, almost like an upbeat version of her popular song “You and I” from her 2008 album, Be OK. The piano-laden ballad “Over You” featuring A Great Big World even hints similarities to the band’s own song, “Say Something.”
In a statement released about the album, Michaelson states, “It just feels so collaborative and larger than me. I am very excited and proud.” And she should. Even without a major label or pop stardom, she achieves longevity by taking risks while still maintaining her signature sound. With Lights Out, Michaelson has another successful album under her belt.
– Alexa Gonzales
Categories: Arts and Entertainment