Ingrid Michaelson – Human Again

Ingrid Michaelson - Human Again

Album cover for Human Again by Ingrid Michaelson

If this were ten years ago, Ingrid Michaelson would be the go-to girl for tv themes and teenage dreams. She might single-handedly be keeping the singer/songwriter genre alive in a period where people are going for the stripped-down vocalist stylings of Adele or the multi-layered electro-pop sound of music by David Guetta. Nearly everyone else has either vanished from the scene or given in and altered their sound to suit today’s pop.

Being a fan of Ingrid is also very rewarding as her output of music is anything but minimal. Between her albums and EPs, Ingrid also occasionally releases one-off singles to iTunes…just because. Human Again is her fifth album since 2005 and first full-length record in a few years. This time away from the studio full-time has done her some good. There’s instantly a sense of growth in comparison to what she has released previously, judging by the development of these songs. The opening track Fire is immediate as it is backed by supportive strings that pulse before the beat kicks in as she announces “I’m walking in/I’m walking in the fire with you.” I’m Through is a beautiful and touching post-breakup ballad that highlights Ingrid’s vocals which soar through the piano as she expresses that she “would rather feel the sting/than never to have felt a thing.” She doesn’t fully lose the folky sound that accompanied much of her earlier songs but rather fuses them with a more complete mix as is evidenced by Ribbons which has the full-sounding chorus sandwiched with more stripped-down verses.

Vocally, I didn’t notice it until this album but Ingrid is reminiscent of Canadian singer/songwriter Damhnait Doyle (of Shaye) and at times there are hints of Shawn Colvin (check out Do It Now for this one). Despite these reminders of the 90s, the music doesn’t sound dated. It’s more like Ingrid reminding us that this once-popular genre still exists and that we actually do yearn for it. While Ingrid Michaelson has a recognizable name to some degree, she still goes largely unnoticed. Human Again is evidence that it’s only a matter of time until she is known by the masses, even if it is little-by-little. Four stars

1. Fire
2. This Is War
3. Do It Now
4. I’m Through
5. Blood Brothers
6. Black And Blue
7. Ribbons
8. How We Love
9. Palm Of Your Hand
10. Ghost
11. In The Sea
12. Keep Warm
13. End Of The World

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