Tuesday, October 23, 2012

#94: Ingrid Michaelson - Girls and Boys (2006)

She's come a long way in a very short period of time, but this is the album that started it all. Her breakout song "The Way I Am" was featured on an Old Navy commercial and it launched Ingrid from obscure to... slightly less obscure. Immediately after seeing the commercial and listening to the entire song, I purchased her album. However, multiple more TV spots later she really gained traction and has slowly but surely made a big name for herself.

The Way I Am
A few bongos, some clapping, a bass, an acoustic guitar, and some beautiful vocals make for one of the best tracks on the album. It's short, it's sweet, and it's heartwarming. "I'll buy you rogaine when you start losing all your hair, sew on patches to all you tear..." She truly knows all of my problems.

Die Alone
Best track on the album, it shows a completely different side of Ingrid. It uses an electric guitar and even rocks out a little bit. Beautiful harmonies are in stark contrast to the guitar providing a perfect platform for Ingrid's fragile yet strong vocals to carry such a lyrically heavy track.

Far Away
This song is really about the story, the guitar provides a simple chord progression while Ingrid uses her perfect diction to explain herself, "I will live my life as a lobsterman's wife on an island in the blue bay. He will take care of me, he will smell like the sea, and close to my heart he'll always stay." Is it sappy? Perhaps. But when Michaelson sings it it just sounds beautiful.

There's a few tracks on the album that shows her inexperience in songwriting, but there's a few on there that really show what she's capable of. Some of the tracks use repetition to great extent well and others not so well. Sometimes it helps to reinforce thoughts or provides a basis in which to transition the music to another thought, however, at times it's used a crutch to move the music in a different direction without introducing anything truly new. That being said: I hope she records an album every year for the next thirty years - I'll probably buy them all.

Tomorrow's album: Jerry Lee Lewis' Live at the Star Club, Hamburg.

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