A Good Fit
Ingrid Michaelson’s second album, Be Ok, showcases her angelic and quirky voice while creating a comfy vibe, making it easy to find her endearing. Television producers and ad executives have already caught on, using her likeable music to provide emotional depth on Grey’s Anatomy and to sell warm, fuzzy sweaters for Old Navy. Michaelson’s sound is folksy, but what sets her apart from the coffee-house klatch is her ability to connect emotionally with listeners, without getting bogged down in sentiment. She often keeps it light-hearted, such as in the ballad “The Way I Am,” a song about acceptance, she pledges her love with, “I’d buy you Rogaine when you start losing all your hair.”
The flirty and playful “You and I” features Jason Mraz on vocals with Michaelson, which creates a truly sublime track. With just a ukulele to accompany them, the spirit of the duet from the film Juno is re-created, as Mraz and Michaelson sing “Let’s get rich and give everybody nice sweaters and teach them how to dance.” The upbeat title track “Be Ok” is a catchy song but gets a little tiresome. The hook is perfect for a 30 second commercial, (it has been used to sell wholesome apple juice) but a bit redundant when listened to repeatedly.
The album is enjoyable because of Michaelson’s charismatic vocals. With a style similar to songstress Regina Spektor, Michaelson has the ability to couch emotional depth and heartbreak with charm and eccentricity. The touching “Giving Up” includes superficial lyrics like “What if there are cups in the sink?” coupled with the more emotional “What if I fall further than you?” Even her take on well-worn songs like “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” and “Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” illuminate her unconventional vocal arrangements, making the songs seems fresh.
The aptly named Be Ok is a cozy fit, with Michaelson celebrating the different and unique, starting with herself.