Featured in hit television dramas such as Grey’s Anatomy and One Tree Hill, singer/songwriter Ingrid Michaelson has gained total popularity, and her heartrending piano ballads and catchy ukulele-driven songs have earned her a place in the indie-pop musical world.
Since the release of her first album in 2005, her subsequent five albums were equally as great. And her newest, It Doesn’t Have to Make Sense, released August 26, is no exception.
Like her previous music, It Doesn’t Have to Make Sense seamlessly alternates between the somber and the silly. Michaelson pours her heart into her music, writing several songs about her recent divorce from fellow musician Greg Laswell and the death of her mother. She continues her foray into more pop hits, while still maintaining the distinctive, ethereal voice that sets her apart from other top 40 artists.
The album opens with one its best tracks, “Light Me Up,” a song reminiscent of her 2013 single “Without You,” that will give listeners goosebumps. The powerful vocals and melody make “Light Me Up” the fitting soundtrack to a sweeping reunion of lovers in a The Notebook-style romantic film.
It Doesn’t Have to Make Sense balances out the more intensely emotional songs with several upbeat tunes such as “Still the One,” which are sure to become your new go-to tracks for singing in the shower. Fans of the 2014 lead single “Girls Chase Boys” from Lights Out will appreciate “Hell No,” a bubbly song about refusing to get back together with an ex, which is already playing on today’s radio.
And in “Celebrate,” Michaelson sings, “everybody’s got that window down, summertime, turn it up, sing along,” which is exactly what this song will quickly become.
Although many of the songs center on matters of the heart, Michaelson is unafraid to tackle society’s issues in her music as well. In “Miss America,” she addresses the ideal beauty standards that many women struggle to live up to, and how she learned to accept herself. Singing “I’ll never be Miss America… don’t need a crown to make me a queen,” Michaelson assures herself and others that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. “I am beautiful, beautiful / you are beautiful, beautiful,” she adds.
Michaelson also shows her support for multiple causes through various non-lyrical methods. After recent transphobic legislation was passed in North Carolina, Michaelson decided to turn her November performance in Charlotte into a “Concert for Equality,” which incuded a conversation about improving the lives of LGBTQ youth.
After seeing the Deaf West Theater Company’s performance of Spring Awakening on the Tony Awards, Michaelson also partnered with six of the production’s actors to create the music video for “Hell No,” performing the lyrics in American Sign Language.
“I thought this would be a great way for people who are often unable to enjoy music videos to get to experience something we all take for granted,” Michaelson said in an interview with People magazine.
Michaelson’s talent and diversity as an artist continue to shine in It Doesn’t Have to Make Sense, creating some of her best work yet. University of Maryland fans can see her perform on tour at the Lincoln Theater November 21 and 22.