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November 4, 2008

Ingrid Michaelson, reassessed

ingrid michaelsonFrom Sun writer Lindsey Citron:

Ingrid Michaelson is just "OK"

The New York City-based singer/songwriter is probably best known for her singles: "The Way I Am" provided catchy walking music on an Old Navy fall sweater commercial, "Little Romance" debuted on the Sex and the City movie soundtrack, and "Keep Breathing" was featured on the tear-jerking season finale of Grey’s Anatomy.

Originally, I posed the question of whether or not Ingrid was pushing to move forward in the music industry by challenging her newest release, Be OK.

I shortly thereafter realized that single "Be OK" was recorded for the "Stand Up to Cancer" association, and the album was inteded to be a continuation of the benefit project with a portion of proceeds going to "SU2C." ...

ingrid michaelsonWhile I of course applaud the generous efforts of Ingrid to give back to the community, I stand by my statement that Be OK is sloppy. Even Midnight Sun commenters were arguing about the logistics of albums versus projects.

A CD, in my opinion, should either be an album of new releases or a project of retouched covers and acoustics. Trying to pull off both by meshing the two together is risky, and just makes for a messy and disjointed compilation.

About the project: the single, "Be OK," hit iTunes on Sept. 2, and the album followed on Oct. 14. Just over half of the 11 tracks are new or unreleased, and the other five are a random assortment of covers and acoustic versions of her older songs (like "The Way I Am").

"The Way I Am" was compelling when it debuted, and even the second time on the Old Navy jingle. But the fact that she’s recycling her old hits on a new album makes me skeptical.

Even more disappointingly, the track "Be OK" was one of the weaker songs on the album. It lacks her vivid imagery, and the lyrics are nothing new. The rest of the new tracks only added to the trainwreck; "Lady in Spain" and "Oh What a Day," for example, were painfully boring and cliché.

You can’t build a song around a line, and you can’t force an album out of a single.

(Photos by Deborah Lopez) 


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Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:30 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Random stuff
        

Comments

While lending her name and giving part of the proceeds going to “Stand up 2 Cancer” is quite laudable or possibly grandstanding, “Stand up 2 Cancer” would be bettered served if you just wrote a check and sent it directly to them, a guarantee that SU2C will actually see some money of consequence.

Apparently this is an interim holding action that isn’t serving her well. Either she is short on new material or she’s trying to get out her current record contract and saving the next “major” artist statement for the new label.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at erik.maza@baltsun.com. Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.
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