This album is one of my favourite albums to date. I feel like I’ve had a relationship with it. I listened to it so much that it became the soundtrack to every journey I had for about a month. Then we fell out. I couldn’t listen anymore, so it was shoved in the side of my car door with other rejected CD’s, gathering dust. Then, I found it again, cuddled it and fed the anticipating CD player’s mouth with her incredible anthology of ballads once again. I rarely come across an album which showcases such a variety of different songs, yet fits together in a splendid way. If you’re looking for a music spectrum, then Ingrid Michaelson can offer you this with her compelling Human Again collection.
The whole album is a tribute to ever changing human emotions, and the power that’s attached to them. Ingrid conveys the path she took to moving from a dark place, and the avenues she’s had to walk down to go from the shadows into the lighter, happier places. Ingrid says:
“The album is called Human Again because it’s taken me a very long time to be happy. I am writing about a really dark time in my life even though I’m not there.”
Ingrid the narrator juxtaposes such a beautiful song as ‘Keep Warm’ with the first half of the album, where songs such as ‘Black and Blue’ and ‘Palm of your Hand’ reveal the darker side of a relationship. ‘Black and Blue’ conveys the lovers going through turmoil, and she sings “everyone knows I am a mess, everybody knows you stole the heart from out of my chest, everything you ever said was a lie, you’re hiding behind your sweet goodbyes”. The bouncing track filled with purposeful percussion and a seemingly cheerful melody shows Ingrid strength to acknowledge her heartbreak and what the object of her affection has done to her heart. The power in the relationship has shifted as she’s now empowered by truth and the realisation that the spell she was cast under has now broken. I told you the album was a spectrum album.
‘How We Love’ is another simple yet extremely quaint song that portrays the relationship between two lovers. The attention to detail within the lyrics that’s draped in Ingrid’s whispering vocals is harnessed by a tender acoustic guitar. The song is filled with realistic moments that we’ve all shared with someone, adding a sense of universality to the story. We all love something we can relate to, and I feel that this track was written for every pair of lovers that’s written a story together.
Another one of my absolute favourite songs from Human Again is ‘Blood Brothers’. Its upbeat ivory tinkling mixed with a simple chord structured guitar and an infectious melody is a fantastic tribute to the perfect song. Ingrid’s message of unity “we’re all the same, under a different name, we’re all blood, we’re all blood, blood brothers”, portrays a gorgeous sense of community and friendship. It’s so refreshing to listen to such a positive message drifting out of my speakers, and with the summer coming to an end, it’s a spectacular soundtrack to those summer evenings where dusk creeps upon us earlier and earlier, bringing hints of Autumn with it.
I could spend all day writing about how brilliant each individual song is, but you’ll have to take a listen to it as I feel each individual will take something different from such a wonderful album. Ingrid Michaelson proves to be a song writing heroine, with the ability to master the art of creating classic songs that stand the test of time. Love is versatile, diverse and translates into some of the most wonderful stories which are written down all sorts of avenues and side streets we walk down every day, but we never stop and think about it. Whilst sitting having a cup of coffee, a love story could be unfolding on the table next to us, or walking past the very shop we’re sat in, and Ingrid Michaelson’s Human Again is the very soundtrack that would fit each and every one of them, whatever chapter we’re at, there’s a song in there for all of us.
Human Again is out August 27th
Songs to check out:
- End of the World
- In the Sea
- Blood Brothers
- Keep Warm