Ingrid Michaelson | Be OK (Cabin 24)

cd_ingrid.jpgYou can’t help but marvel at the juxtaposition of complexity and simplicity Michaelson feeds into her songs.






Most recognized for her song "The Way I Am," Ingrid Michaelson has become the princess of music placement with several tracks appearing in at least four episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, another three on One Tree Hill, and in an Old Navy commercial, to name a few. Her most recent release, Be OK, is an oasis amid a plethora of albums that more often than not deliver less than impressive results. The album contains a collection of some of her previously unreleased tracks in addition to covers and live recordings, and displays Michaelson’s ability to create music that compliments her unique voice.

You can’t help but marvel at the juxtaposition of complexity and simplicity Michaelson feeds into her songs. Her unique use of metaphors about some of life’s most common realities suggests an alternate view on life with a hint of sarcasm stirred in to make the most complex of troubles humorous. "Lady in Spain" contains one of the best lines in the entire album. In the song, Michaelson describes her ex-partner as if he were a robot sent specifically to undo her: "I am in love with a boy/ manufactured to destroy/ so I shall unravel my love/ like an old red woolen glove." Without dwelling on the negative, as most songwriters would, she instead focuses on a positive note by umbrella-ing the entire track with an uplifting and yet simplistic chorus: "I can be anything that I see/ I can do anything I want, anything I want to." As simple, and almost mundane as the lyrics sound, they work.

Everything else aside, Be OK is easily one of the best albums of the year. For anyone looking for that perfect gift for whatever the occasion, you cannot go wrong with Michaelson’s newest album. If you’re one of those men who has trouble finding the perfect gift for the missus, this CD really hits that sentimental note. For those going through the motions of grieving a loss, be it a relationship or a death, they may benefit greatly from the album’s emotional and therapeutic nature.

Whatever the scenario, Michaelson consoles and offers relief with a dash of humor here and there. "You and I" has to be the most optimistic and upbeat medley on the album, complete with a little ukulele work in the background that is coincidently performed by Michaelson herself. While lyrics like "Let’s get rich and buy everybody nice sweaters and teach them how to dance" are almost reminiscent of another peace and love anthem that suggested we buy the world a Coke, the feeling is less hippie and more laidback and simplistic. The track, which is coincidently place at the end of the album, subtly eases the listener out of the somewhat melancholy trance the album conjures up.

Other tracks on Be OK include Michaelson’s version of "Over the Rainbow," a tribute to the late Dave Matthews Band saxophonist LeRoi Moore, and the Elvis Presley classic "Can’t Help Falling in Love."

With some of the proceeds of the album going to Stand Up to Cancer, Michaelson has put together a collection of feel-good tracks to compliment a feel-good cause. Further information regarding future appearances, recent appearances, videos and free downloads are available on her website. A | Jennifer Manjarez

RIYL: Lisa Loeb, Tristan Prettyman, Ivy

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