Ingrid Michaelson, reassessed
From 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." ...
While 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)