Ingrid Michaleson’s Brooding New Record
On the new album, It Doesn’t Have to Make Sense, Ingrid Michaelson continues to explore her role as a woman and musician in her relationships, her work, and everyday life. The album still retains the identifiers of Michaelson, but the broodiness and contemplative nature of this differs from what she normally produces.
While one will not be surprised by Michaelson’s newest record, that does not mean, however, that it makes it any less enjoyable. This album is predictable. It maintains the same personality of Michaelson with pop-y refrains and happy, danceable rhythms, but many of the happy songs take a back seat to slower songs with more reflective lyrics. The record opens with “Light Me Up.” This is a tune that would trick one into thinking it will be a carefree pop song, but instead one finds Michaelson crying out, “And I want keep us all alive/And I want to see you in my eyes” before repeating, “Light me up again.” Other songs like “Miss America” and “Still the One” will find solace in the easily identifiable Michaelson songs where she channels herself and part Taylor Swift.
On the song “Hell No” the listener hears Michaelson explore a louder and brasher side than is typical of her music. While the message remains the same, her delivery is brazen. When she shouts, “Hell no! Baby watch me up and go” one feels her sense of release by belting out her frustrations. The album, however, finishes on a much more sedated note with the melancholic song “Old Days,” a song that sees the vulnerabilities of Michaelson fully on display. A chorus gently echoes her as she sings, “Pack up the life that’s left/Except that one blue dress/I always tried my best/Do you remember?”
While this album is much like Michaelson’s other releases, there is a darkness to It Doesn’t Have to Make Sense. The sincerity in her voice shows through and holds the listeners attention from start to finish.