Stranger Songs - Ingrid Michaelson: ALBUM REVIEW
Updated: Jul 6, 2020
The eighth LP from the incredibly dynamic singer-songwriter is… just awesome. Ingrid Michaelson reinvents herself again with a concept album paying homage to the hit Netflix Original, STRANGER THINGS. Admittedly, I have never watched the series, however, if it’s as good as this album is, I’m going to have to binge it in one night. This concept album is a fabulous representation of incredibly supreme songwriting, fantastic performances and top-notch production.
Ever since her debut GIRLS AND BOYS, she has proven herself to be as versatile as any other artist in the world with a soft but vocally demanding sound, incredibly thoughtful and intelligent lyrics, very tight production, and songs that demand to be heard over and over and over again. With hit song after hit song, she quickly turned from an indie hidden gem to one of the biggest stars in the world. What do you do when you’re the biggest star in the world? You put out THIS exact album.
I loved this album from start to finish. From the opening track “Freak Show”, she is able to welcome us all into her sonic world of Stranger Things and never lets us forget that feeling until the very end. One of the most interesting things is that every song is very different from every other song. Every song, she is able to cater and change her vocal quality to serve each song in a different way. She has a very pop and belty tone on “Jealous”, but on “Hate You”, she is able to get the subtle breathy tone that we know and love from her. The instrumentation and production she uses on each track is just so spot on that the relationship between every instrument is so strong.
I don’t think that it’s a stretch to say that without Ingrid Michaelson, modern pop music might not what it is today. If you listen to today’s biggest artists like Billie Eilish, Maggie Rogers, Julia Michaels, Alessia Cara, YEBBA, Hey Violet and more, it is very obvious that that were influenced by Ingrid Michaelson. It’s amazing when an artist can be this influential and them come out with an absolute masterpiece like STRANGER SONGS years later. She has been able to adapt to the ever changing style of pop music and still stay true to herself and the messages she wants to put out.
Ingrid Michaelson has had IT for a long time and has proved that she still does with STRANGER SONGS. Billie Eilish’s WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE WE DO GO? will probably win Album of The Year, but this along with Maggie Rogers’ HEARD IT IN A PAST LIFE, should be a real contender because it is a brilliant piece of art. This is way up there on this list for me. It may even be my favourite album of the year and everyone needs to check it out.
HIGHLIGHTS: “Freak Show”, “Hate You”, “Jealous”, “Best Friend” “Take Me Home”
GRADE: 81 (A-)