Ingrid Michaelson
It Doesn't Have to Make Sense


4.0
excellent

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
September 6th, 2016 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Let's go together, let's swim forever into the blue.

Ingrid Michaelson has always had the edge in class and consistency within the realm of pop music. She’s never blown up her humble approach or attempted to turn it into more than what it is, nor has she ever tried to become a sex symbol – and respect has resultantly followed her at every turn of her career. There’s actually a very telling line from this record in which Michaelson sings, “I don’t need a crown to make me a queen”, and it feels like a summation of her entire career as a musician. Early on – when she was just beginning to rise from the ashes of her humble Myspace beginnings – Ingrid bet on herself. What followed was over a decade’s span of success – from the cutesy, by-the-numbers Girls and Boys to her more streamlined offerings of late. Somehow, she has remained just as relevant as ever in an era where mega-artists like Taylor Swift, Adele, and Ariana Grande have garnered every possible ounce of limelight available for public consumption. Amidst the ever-shifting climate of pop music, Michaelson’s even keel and steady production has turned her into something of a cult indie singer/songwriter icon, and a paradigm for aspiring songwriters who want to avoid the headache of mainstream pop and just make music. As her seventh full-length offering to date, It Doesn’t Have To Make Sense is yet another example of why Ingrid Michaelson is an indie-pop queen in her own right.

It Doesn’t Have To Make Sense doesn’t boast very many hooks, which is something of a rarity even for Ingrid. The closest thing we get to a sing-along chorus is ‘Hell No’, which feels out of place on the record to begin with. It’s unwise to approach this album with expectations of sugary sweet melodies – if that’s your end-game, you’re better off revisiting Everybody or Human Again. This is a record full of beautiful depth though, from the starry-eyed romanticism of ‘Another Life’ – “It’s in the galaxies and all the history books / I think we shared another life, don’t you"” – to imagery so vivid you can almost reach out and touch it, like the childhood memories fondly shared on ‘I Remember Her’: “There’s a smell that the heat makes / It reminds me of Christmas / And birthdays in December.” It’s mostly distant and forlorn, an atmosphere typified by the downright depressing ‘Drink You Gone’ – a track overwhelmed by pain and loneliness that peaks with a lyrical passage expressing just how tumultuous post-breakup life can be, “When I dream you’re there – I can’t even sleep you gone.” Although there are occasional sojourns into peppier territory (such as the upbeat, off-kilter ‘Celebrate’), It Doesn’t Have To Make Sense is largely just a matter of Ingrid sitting alone with her thoughts, a pen, and an acoustic guitar or piano. It’s what resulted in some of her most moving pieces as a young artist, and now more than a decade into her career, she has captured that lightning in a bottle once again. Nothing here will expand her resume or lodge itself in your brain for weeks, but that’s not the point. Like ‘Ghost’ or ‘Beautiful Unknown’, this record tugs at your heartstrings. It’s an album to sway along to in an empty ballroom, or to plug into your ears while you walk the city streets at night. It may not be very likely to top the charts because of its languid nature, but unearthing some of the lyrical gems here is actually far more rewarding. This is more than Ingrid simply reminding us that she’s still here; she’s reminding us of why we connected with her music to begin with.



Recent reviews by this author
St. Vincent MASSEDUCTIONManchester Orchestra A Black Mile to the Surface
Circa Survive The AmuletThe Killers Wonderful Wonderful
Gang of Youths Go Farther in LightnessBrand New Science Fiction
user ratings (18)
Chart.
3.3
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Moderator
September 6th 2016


25036 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This grew on me a lot. I might like it more than Lights Out.



Just a lot more personal and heartfelt.

Digging: Brand New - Science Fiction

wwf
September 7th 2016


5660 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

that ratings spread tho

Digging: Terror Pigeon! - We Will Never Run Out of Love!

SowingSeason
Moderator
September 7th 2016


25036 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I mean I can't speak for everyone but I can't help but wonder who gave this more than one full listen. I was pretty dismissive of it at first (2.5-3.0 range) but the lyrics and some of the forlorn atmospheres here are downright amazing. For me this is about on par with Lights Out rating-wise but it probably means a little more.

Pangea
September 7th 2016


2712 Comments


I enjoyed a few songs from lights out so i'll check

SowingSeason
Moderator
September 7th 2016


25036 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just approach it with expectations of more of a singer-songwriter album than a catchy, pop-infused effort and you won't be disappointed.

ScarletMyzomela
September 10th 2016


6 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Like all her albums, this definitely improved for me after the first listen (but I was hooked the first time around, to be honest). Her vocals are lovely and heartfelt, and her sometimes-strident affectations aren't front-and-centre. 'I Remember Her' is a total heart-wrencher; absolutely not the album you'd expect after 'Hell No' being the lead single (but 'Hell No' is definitely a guilty sing-along pleasure for me).

SowingSeason
Moderator
September 10th 2016


25036 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Agreed, Hell No is crazy misleading. This is a very personal, lyric-oriented piece.

LotusFlower
September 11th 2016


12002 Comments


hell no has convinced me to never try this.

TheSupernatural
September 13th 2016


1661 Comments


Hell No was a really fun song though

wwf
September 18th 2016


5660 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I honestly get bored every time I try to revisit this

ScarletMyzomela
September 25th 2016


6 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I get bored every time someone says this is boring

mvdu
September 30th 2016


721 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I'd rather she did at least one of these: stayed with her hookier side, did something unique like Regina Spektor can do, or at least sing songs that are compelling. All I got was a pleasant feeling from this - didn't feel like buying it for that.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy