Ingrid Michaelson, Lights Out - Album review

Download: Home; Girls Chase Boys; Handsome Hands

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The Independent Culture

Taylor Swift and Sam Smith are apparently fans of Michaelson, and it’s not hard to see why: either would probably kill for a tune as catchy as “Girls Chase Boys”, the infectious hit whose down-to-earth hook claims, “It’s all the same thing/ Girls chase boys chase girls”.

But there’s rather more to Michaelson, whose emotional palette tends towards the apocalyptic. “Home” opens the album in Scandinavian style, with a swirl of organ and high-pitched cooing underscoring the claim that her beloved offers such comfort that “even when my body blows away, my soul will stay”; a similar self-abnegation features in “Wonderful Unknown”, where “in the best way, you’ll be the death of me”.

Michaelson’s most interesting musical strategies occur away from the mainstream, in things like the blending of Omnichord and French horn in “Handsome Hands”; but Lights Out eventually runs out of steam, lapsing into dull piano ballads.

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