Coating Records 1: “Human Again” by Ingrid Michaelson

Welcome to Coating Records!

Coating Records is what I think we’ll be calling this review section from now on. It’s called “Coating” because we’ll be rating them with a color scale. It’s a relatively simple system. Here’s the breakdown:

Grading Scale:

  • Records are graded on a 1-12 scale.
  • These numbers are then converted to a 5 color coating system.
  • 1-3 is Copper
  • 4-6 is Bronze
  • 7-9 is Silver
  • 10-11 is Gold
  • 12 is Platinum
  • 13 can give up to 6 points
  • XIV can give up to 6 points

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HUMAN AGAIN

:*XIV*:

I didn’t want to like this album; at first.  The melody kept to Ingrid Michaelson‘s known spectrum, but the lyric choice was contrasting from the work I had previously enjoyed.  It was something of an unknown commodity to me. I expected similar to the normal Ingrid Michaelson and I hoped that I’d have an awesome album to sing as I swept the floor or seasoned my chicken in the kitchen. Funny thing to me is, I did.

The Album starts off with “Fire”. A fast upbeat, song that sounds really similar to an older track with the addition of some really strong strings. Even as I type this, my feet are tapping to it and my head bobs while she’s “Walking in Fire”. The song is fast paced like some of her more popular songs, The album flows to “This is War” a song that just reminds one of the battles that being involved with others bring.  It stays in the realm of strong emotion all the way through my favorite song on the album:

Played with a bit of a hip hop and even a bit of jazz thrown in there, this song is more like her other albums so the nostalgia probably affects my decision a bit more than I’m willing to admit. After “Blood Brothers”, listening to this song clicked something in my head; and the rest of the album (and the beginning when I restarted listening to it) was so much better for me. This album, is not the same as the other ones. The other albums, sure they had the slower songs, but they were all about strong love emotions. In my head I see them as bright shades of yellow, red, and blue. While this album is more of a rich purple. It’s still a color, but it is a deeper color; a deeper emotion in my opinion. This album is about being human. There are bright days, and there are the somber days. The lyrics reflect that. It’s almost as if she was as human as we are.

If you listen with your head, she is.

4.5 out of 6 points

.

:*13*:

Unlike XIV, I haven’t listened to much of Ingrid Michaelson’s work in the past, so I didn’t have much to compare this to. The only presence she has on my iPod is her breakout hit “The Way I Am”  from Girls and Boys, which XIV has already professed love for in a previous post. Coming into this review, I had also heard a couple other songs from her mainly from commercials or tv, but that’s about it. I wasn’t sure what to expect.

I don’t want to say that Ingrid’s sound here surprises me. I don’t think that would be the right word to use, because nothing here (except maybe “In The Sea”, one of my favorites) sounds that different from what I might expect after hearing her singles. But I will say that I enjoyed this album slightly more than I expected to.

“Fire” is a good starting piece. Within the first few notes, it sets the tone for the album, which although prone to be sad and whimsical at times gives the listener an overall uplifted feeling. The album flows freely from there and reaches a high point at the song XIV posted, “Black and Blue” which coincidentally I would agree is one of the best tracks on the album. It is placed perfectly, right in the middle of what I think is the best run on the album from tracks 4-8.

The track that stuck out to me most though was “In The Sea”:

This doesn’t really sound like anything else from Ingrid that I’ve heard, and I really like the harsher element of it. The first thing I look for in my music is emotion, even before all of the technical stuff, and I tend to think that the best albums are the ones that don’t stay the same throughout, but rather display as many different aspects of their subject matter as they can without becoming unraveled. For me, this is a strong point on the album if only because it brings out a feeling which is absent on all the other tracks, and which helps to round everything out.

Human Again is an emotionally charged album, mainly concerned with the different feelings that go with love and loss, that oh so human set of emotions. It does what it sets out to do quite well. Unfortunately, it begins to taper off into boredom after track 8 for me (except of course for “In The Sea”… and “Ghost” is alright too). Otherwise, I may have been inclined to give it one of my higher ratings. Even with a less than stellar back third though, the album is worth listening to.

4 out of 6 points

Human Again

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That makes a score of 8.5 of 12 guys. That means Human Again is a Silver album. Not great, not a must buy, but still definitely worth your time.

2 thoughts on “Coating Records 1: “Human Again” by Ingrid Michaelson

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