|Ingrid Michaelson — Lights Out (2014)
Ingrid Michaelson — Lights Out
•¬ At The Oakland Press, Gary Graff rated the album three stars out of four, writing how the release is “filled with emotional heavy lifting”, and the LP features “Michaelson’s use of choral arrangements throughout is just one of the elements that remind us of what a clever artist she is while also pushing her in fresh directions.” Matt Collar of AllMusic rated the album four stars out of five, stating how the release show “Michaelson has captured that sound of love.”
Birth name: Ingrid Ellen Egbert Michaelson
Born: December 8, 1979
Location: Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, NYC
Instruments: Vocals, guitar, piano, ukulele
Album release: April 15, 2014
Record Label: Cabin 24
01 Home 4:25
02 Girls Chase Boys 3:41
03 Wonderful Unknown (feat: Greg Laswell) 5:02
04 You Got Me (feat: Storyman) 3:14
05 Warpath 2:28
06 Handsome Hands 3:37
07 Time Machine 3:33
08 One Night Town (feat: Mat Kearney) 3:15
09 Open Hands (feat: Trent Dabbs) 4:07
10 Ready to Lose (feat: Trent Dabbs) 3:33
11 Stick 3:36
12 Afterlife 4:05
13 Over You (feat: A Great Big World) 4:43
14 Everyone Is Gonna Love Me Now 5:17
℗ 2014 Cabin 24 Records under exclusive license to Mom + Pop
•→ Ingrid Michaelson 1, 3, 6
•→ Trent Dabbs / Barry Dean / Ingrid Michaelson 2
•→ Mick Lynch / Kevin May / Ingrid Michaelson 4
•→ Busbee / Trent Dabbs / Ingrid Michaelson 7
•→ Matt Kearney / Ingrid Michaelson 8
•→ Trent Dabbs / Ingrid Michaelson 9, 10, 11, 14
•→ Brian Lee / Ingrid Michaelson / Adam Pallin 12
•→ Ian Axel / Ingrid Michaelson / Chad Vaccarino 13Themes: Reflection Introspection Sunday Afternoon Empowering Family In Love Joy Passion Romance Yearning
•→ The album was released on April 15, 2014 on Cabin 24 Records under exclusive license to Mom + Pop Music.CREDITS:
•→ Christopher Allen Engineer
•→ Chris Athens Mastering
•→ Ian Axel Composer, Piano, Vocals
•→ Sean R. Badum Assistant Engineer
•→ Brad Bivens Engineer
•→ Jeremy Bose Engineer, Keyboards, Producer, Programming
•→ Billy Bowers Engineer
•→ Lelia Broussard Clapping, Vocals (Background)
•→ Busbee Composer
•→ C.J. Camerieri French Horn, Trumpet
•→ Aaron Chafin Assistant
•→ Adam Christgau Percussion
•→ Cason Cooley Guitar (El.), Percussion, Piano, Producer, Programming, Synts, Voc. (Backgr.)
•→ Paul "Paco" Cossette Assistant
•→ Trent Dabbs Composer, Featured Artist, Guitar, Vocals (Background)
•→ Eric Darken Percussion, Programming
•→ Barry Dean Composer
•→ John Denosky Editing
•→ Nathan Dugger Guitar
•→ Matthew Fleming Package Design
•→ Cara Fox Cello
•→ Serban Ghenea Mixing
•→ Lauren Glucksman A&R
•→ A Great Big World Featured Artist
•→ Lynn Grossman A&R, Clapping, Stomping
•→ Drew Guido Engineer
•→ John Hames Mixing Engineer
•→ Katie Herzig Celeste, Producer, Synthesizer, Vocals (Background)
•→ Felicia J. Hudson Clapping, Vocals (Background)
•→ Nadim Issa Engineer, Wurlitzer
•→ Elliot Jacobson Clapping, Drums, Percussion, Stomping
•→ Mat Kearney Additional Production, Guitar (Ac.), Programming, Synthesizer, Vocals
•→ Matt Kearney Composer
•→ Jacquire King Clapping, Engineer, Producer, Stomping
•→ Chris Kuffner Arranger, Bass, Bass (El.), Clapping, E~Bow, Engineer, Guitar, Guitar (Ac.), Guitar (El.), Guitar (Tenor), Harmonium, Omnichord, Producer, Programming, Slide Guitar, Stomping, Synthesizer, Synthesizer Bass, Vocals (Backgr.)
•→ Jesse Kuffner Cello, Violin
•→ Shervin Lainez Photography
•→ Greg Laswell Featured Artist
•→ Brian Lee Bass, Composer, Vocals (Background), Whistle
•→ Stephen Leiweke Engineer, Guitar (Electric)
•→ Tony Lucido Bass
•→ Jake Lummus Assistant Engineer
•→ Jeremy Lutito Drums
•→ Mick Lynch Composer, Guitar (Acoustic), Vocals, Vocals (Background)
•→ Saul Simon MacWilliams Clapping, Editing, Organ, Piano, Stomping, Synthesizer, Trumpet, Vocals (Background), Wurlitzer
•→ Kevin May Composer, Vocals
•→ Ingrid Michaelson Add. Prod., Clapping, Composer, Omnichord, Piano, Stomping, Voc., Voc. (Bckgr.)
•→ Buckley Miller Tracking
•→ Allie Moss Clapping, Vocals (Background)
•→ The Orphanage String Quartet Strings
•→ Adam Pallin Add. Prod., Composer, Drum Programming, Keyboards, Vocals (Background)
•→ Wendy Parr Vocals (Background)
•→ Ken Rich Engineer
•→ Bess Rogers Assistant Engineer, Clapping, Guitar (Ac.), Guitar (El.), Stomping, Vocals (Backgr.)
•→ Dan Romer Bass, Engineer, Mixing, Producer, String Arrangements
•→ Joshua Sarubin A&R
•→ Gabe Scott Guitar (Acoustic), Hammer Dulcimer, Lap Steel Guitar
•→ F. Reid Shippen Additional Production, Mixing, Programming
•→ Storyman Featured Artist
•→ Chad Vaccarino Composer, Vocals
•→ Hannah Winkler Clapping, Vocals (Background)
Samuel Lora, DC GLBT Arts Examiner, Score: *****
Song by song: http://www.examiner.com/review/review-lights-out-by-ingrid-michaelsonReview by Matt Collar; Score: ****
•→ Ingrid Michaelson‘s sixth studio album, 2014’s Lights Out, is a polished, well~produced effort that magnifies all of the sounds and lyrical themes she’s been working with since breaking through with 2007’s Girls and Boys. Michaelson even seems to reference that album with her Lights Out lead single, the infectious “Girls Chase Boys.” However, where Girls and Boys centered around Michaelson’s intimate ukulele and acoustic guitar~driven dorm room pop, Lights Out features a broadened sonic palette and a much more robust vocal performance; it’s a transformation she’s been perfecting since 2009’s Everybody and 2012’s Human Again.
•→ This time out, Michaelson has enlisted a handful of producers who include, among others, her bandmate bassist Chris Kuffner, Jacquire King (Modest Mouse, Norah Jones), and singer/songwriter Katie Herzig. Michaelson even reunites with longtime collaborator Dan Romer for the epic ballad “Over You,” featuring A Great Big World. While there are a few of Michaelson’s trademark intimate breakup songs here, including the tear~inducing “Open Hands,” overall the album reveals Michaelson to be in a bright, upbeat state of mind. Cuts like the bluesy, handclap~heavy “Warpath” and the similarly fiery “Time Machine,” with its ’90s~esque sax samples, are more emblematic of the album’s ambitious, empowered tone. Elsewhere, we get the catchy dance~pop duet “One Night Town” with Mat Kearney and the uplifting anthem “Afterlife.” There’s also a very in~the~moment feeling of both poignancy and happiness to Lights Out, which is perhaps best expressed in the midtempo Beatlesque ballad “Wonderful Unknown,” featuring Michaelson’s husband, singer/songwriter Greg Laswell. In it, Michaelson ruminates on the small details of her everyday life, singing “We make bread on Sundays and the little ones are climbing the walls/Up the walls/Nothing lasts forever but the sound of love astounds me every time that it calls.” Ultimately, on Lights Out, Michaelson has captured that sound of love.Notes:
•→ Michaelson is half Swedish, and was born to artistic parents. Her father, Carl Michaelson, is a composer („The Praise of Christmas“) and her mother, Elizabeth Egbert, is a sculptor. Her mother is of Dutch ancestry. Michaelson took up piano at age four, and trained until seven at Manhattan’s Third Street Music School, continuing for many more years at the Jewish Community Center of Staten Island’s Dorothy Delson Kuhn Music Institute. While there she met vocal coach Elizabeth McCullough, who worked with her through high school. She is a graduate of Staten Island Technical High School and Binghamton University, where she received a degree in theater. While at Binghamton University she was a member of the Binghamtonics, a co~ed a cappella group, as well as the Pappy Parker Players, an improv comedy group, and the theatre repertory company under Sue Peters. Her time at Binghamton is mentioned in the song „The Hat.“ She grew up doing a musical theater group called „Kids On Stage.“ Later in life, she became a director until she decided to pursue her career in music.
•→ In August 2011, she married fellow musician Greg Laswell. They currently reside in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn with their Border terrier, Shep Proudfoot.
•→ Girls and Boys #1 US Heat
•→ Be OK #2 US Indie
•→ Human Again #2 US Rock / #1 US Indie
Ingrid Michaelson, Lights Out, Spring
April 18, 2014
•→ This post is an experiment. I normally never listen to music when I write. Like many musicians music can never really serve as background for me. I can’t help listening to it, and it’s distracting to my words. Right now I’m listening to Ingrid Michaelson’s new album Lights Out.
•→ I’ve been spending a lot of time lately with my nineteen~month~old grandson. He has a limited vocabulary — “wa~wa” when he wants a drink, “whee~whee” when he hears a siren, “dig~dig” when he sees a bulldozer, apparently the most fascinating thing in the world. When he sees anything or anyone else he likes he yells, “Yeah, yeah, yeah!” and I can’t help but think he’s inadvertently quoting The Beatles’ “She Loves You,” number one exactly fifty years ago.
•→ The world blasts into my grandson’s unjaded consciousness unfiltered, and his reactions blast out, unsullied by second-guessing or consideration of what anybody might think of him. It was the same when I first heard The Beatles. My musical ears were fresh as J.J.’s and I responded with my own unembarrassed “Yeah, yeah, yeah!” I joined a Beatles imitation band and in a few years gave up the dreams of parents and grandparents for me and dedicated my life to music.
•→ Fifty years later I’m done with making music and happy to finally be able to listen for sheer pleasure, without studying what I’m hearing. The problem recently is that I’ve got nothing to listen to. My ears have gotten jaded. Nothing’s been doing it for me — not Jimi Hendrix, Nerina Pallot, not even J. S. Bach, my ultimate fallback. Even the most sublime music gets tired when you hear it too often.
•→ The obvious thing is to find new great music. I’ve been looking. And looking.
Today it found me. I was messing around on itunes when in its wisdom it flashed a banner for the new Ingrid Michaelson album, Lights Out, a wisdom informed by my previous purchases of Ingrid’s previous efforts, Everybody and Human Again.
•→ The song that first sold me on Ingrid Michaelson was “Ghost.” It’s one of the all time great pop torch songs. I’m always a sucker for strings, and it’s got plenty, woven into a masterful and dramatic arrangement. I’m an even bigger sucker for a big hook melody, and it’s got that too. Ingrid’s voice whispers, weeps and wails its way through a downright harrowing tale of someone reduced by bad love to a wraith, desperately clinging to the melody like the lover she’s lost.
•→ Like all great pop records I’m swept up in the sound, and only listen to the lyrics later. To find that they’re as impeccably crafted as every other aspect of her productions.
•→ As I moved on from “Ghost” I was surprised to find that Ingrid’s “Ghost” voice was only one of several. Like the great Dusty Springfield she can reinvent her pipes when the song requires it.
•→ And many of them do, especially on Lights Out. Here her songwriting ranges from exuberant pop (“Girls Chase Boys”) to “Ghost” like haunted (Open Hands) to spooky and experimental (Handsome Hands), blue eyed soul (“Warpath”) to the exquisite and transcendent (“Wonderful Unknown.” ) This last song is about marriage, a sweet memento mori in which love and impermanence are perfectly balanced. The ostensible hook, (“Here we go…”) is a feint that disguises the real hook, which snuck up and eventually knocked me right on my ass. She sings it with husband Greg Laswell, in what I can only hope is a testament to an extraordinary marriage: “In the best way, you’ll be the death of me.” Lurking around the back of the arrangement are the Mellotron flutes from The Beatles “Fool on the Hill.” Almost enough to make me think she knows I’m listening…
•→ I had a bad moment with that hook, afraid I’d just been infected with an earworm. Then came the next song, and the next with hook after hook and they somehow miraculously canceled each other out, conferring a kind of immunity. For now.
•→ For all of the stylistic variations, Ingrid Michaelson never forgets her main mission — distilling emotion to a luscious 190-proof, as seductive and potent as the finest Absinthe, then serving it up with spoonfuls of caramelized sound that remove any hints of wormwood. Because make no mistake, this woman’s feelings run deep and sometimes dark.
•→ There’s an ingenuousness in her voice that confers trust — the trust that she won’t lie about those feelings. It’s a quality that’s sorely lacking in so many female pop singers of recent decades, who emote and caterwaul and perform melismatic acrobatics, but whose real message is “buy my record.” (I’m not naming names — last time I did I got the Pomplamouse minions after me. It was bad.)
Many of Ingrid’s early songs, like “The Way I Am,” display a naiveté and tendency to repetition such that they could almost be mistaken for children’s songs. But the simplicity of her recent work is that of mature art, which comes from paring away all unnecessary ideas and attitude.
•→ It’s a testament to the fallen state of the music business that this artist, who fifty years ago would have been on a major label and world famous, languishes on her own label, and is far from a household word.
•→ Except that as of yesterday Lights Out was No. 3 in all music on Amazon. And right next to Linda Ronstadt, another woman who knows a thing or two about expressing emotion with her voice. (Sadly silenced.)
•→ And so just in time for Easter and Passover and pagan Rites of Spring, music is reborn, at least for me.
•→ So what’s the result of my experiment? It’s got me feeling a bit like my grandson. When it comes to Ingrid Michaelson right now, I’m all “Yeah, yeah, yeah!” Nothing wakes the inner child like music and art. Except maybe the outer child.
|Ingrid Michaelson — Lights Out (2014)