Ingrid Michaelson returns with her sophomore album, Human Again. After rising to fame with her song ‘The Way I Am’ in 2007 as the insert song for Old Navy as well as Grey’s Anatomy and other television shows. Her new album ditches the kitchsy sound she was well received for and opts for a darker sound.
Fire starts with a rushing sound filled with violins followed by a string of staccato words. An electric guitar kicks in and bring in this cheesy ’80’s pop theme song sound. The lyrics are pretty cheesy and repetitive before the second chorus kicks in.”This is War” is lighter than the previous song, the main instrument sticking with electric guitar. Also repetitive with every line of the verses starting with ‘It’s a wonder at all’. The song sounds like it was made in a few minutes, there doesn’t seem to be any thought process for this. At least the outro sounds decent.
“Do it Now” really focuses on the strings as the center instrument. This is definitely one of the better songs on the album; a good quality pop tune that isn’t annoyingly catchy. “I’m Through” is stunning. Mainly her subliminal voice and the piano, the tune is reminiscent of Sara Bareilles’ song “Breathe Again.” “Blood Brothers” a happier tune filled with guitar and peppy lyrics. The use of background singers lightens up the overall sound of the song.
“Black and Blue” is more of a pop song and it happier compared to the previous half of the album. There are a lot of unique sounds in the song that will attract the listener. “Ribbons” starts off with an acoustic feel then at the chorus, there’s a volume increase and more of a pop sound. This song is pretty bland and doesn’t really pack a punch that would make anyone want to listen more than once.
“How We Love” has that ‘The Way You Are” feel; it’s very simple with just a guitar and this is more of an emotive song. The simplicity is best for this song. “Palm of Your Hand” more fiery track with the repetitive guitar rift.
“Ghost,” the lead single,a great pop song. If she would’ve stuck with the styling she did for this song, the rest of the album could have been eons better. “In the Sea” is a bit more gritty in sound with the use of electric guitar. The overall feel of the song is more laid back and is an okay listen. About a minute in, the chorus does start to get repetitive and the lyrics are very literal. “Keep Warm” is a simple ballad type of song. Violins and her voice sound great together. The album finishes with “End of the World,” trickling in with a haunting piano.
While there were a few tracks that sounded pretty amazing, but majority of the songs sound similar and boring. For the most part, Human Again was a fresh comeback for Ingrid. There aren’t any ‘Be OK’s or ‘The Way You Are’, but still some solid tunes.I rate this 3/5.