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4.5 out of 5 stars
Everybody
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2009
A huge fan of her past work, I've been anticipating the release of this album for months. My expectations were incredibly high, yet somehow, Michaelson has managed to exceed them. With this album she has finally solidified her sound, and with access to higher production values, she has made good use of the studio. This album is not over-produced, as we often see happen to many artists like her, but is excellently orchestrated on every track to achieve an effect that is simultaneously intimate and grand. These sounds would fill the largest concert hall, yet also be very in place at your local coffee shop. This is what sets this album apart from her previous work "Girls & Boys." Here, we such a much broader variety of sounds and musical colors; however, they are all distinctly Michaelson, tied together by her unique, sultry vocal quality.

All songs seem relatively simple lyrically, but upon closer examination you'll find that the lyrics actually work on many levels, using beautiful metaphors and often idiomatic phrases to achieve a deep sort of representational meaning. For example, in the stunning ballad Are We There Yet, Michaelson sings of silver linings in clouds and images of a peaceful home to create a sense of longing for a non-present simple love. Though lyrics often repeat, they do so out of necessity, reaching as deep as they can with their poignant messages of hope, love, and loss.

While there isn't a bland track on the album, standouts include Soldier, Everybody, Are We There Yet, Sort Of, The Chain, Mountain and the Sea, Locked Up, and Maybe. An absolute must have for your collection, "Everybody" may just become one of your favorites. In just a day, it has quickly become one of mine.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2009
I've always been a fan of Ingrid Michaelson and think that she's very talented. However, with her other albums, I really got the impression that she was still searching for her niche. The music was good, and the lyrics were nice but sometimes trite. I can't listen to her older albums over and over (which is how I gadge the greatness of a singer/group/whatever). This album, on the other hand, is a lot different. I looked up all the lyrics of every song and found them, above all, clever, but also heart-wrenching in some places, funny in others, real-life, and incredibly appropriate. The music is equally catchy and lovely.

This album is a tribute to Ingrid's incredible growth as both a musician and a woman. I can only believe that in the future, she will continue in the same manner.

Great CD that I would recommend to anyone.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
So far 2009 has seen a number of "sophomore" releases from artists, and Everybody from Ingrid Michaelson is one of them (I'm not counting the EP Be OK but limiting to major releases). Fans looking for Girls and Boys Part II will not find what they are looking for in Everybody. However deviating from Girls and Boys is not necessarily a bad thing. I found Everybody to be a much more focused work. It is also much more mainstream; however, some will not look on this favorably. You could almost make

Instrumentally, Everybody has more depth and variety. I loved the violin and cello on "Soldier" and "Incredible Love". Michaelson also introduces Ukulele on songs such as "Everybody" and "Mountain And The Sea". It has a feel similar to Israel Kamakawiwo`Ole's rendition of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" from 50 First Dates. I also really enjoyed the subtly stated use of trumpet on "So Long". Perhaps as a way of at least loosely connecting with her past work, "Everybody" and "Mountain And The Sea" also feature the folksy hand clapping that Michaelson used on Girls and Boys.

Vocally, Everybody features more of Michaelson's lower register. This comes right out of the gate on "Soldier", and it continues on other tracks such as "Sort Of", "Maybe", and "Incredible Love". That is not to say that Michaelson has switched exclusively to a dusky alto. Songs such as "Are We There Yet", "Men Of Snow", and "The Chain" have plenty of her upper register and falsetto. "The Chain" is the studio version of a song that we first heard on Be OK. It has the same vocal round at the end as the live version did, and it just doesn't seem to fit with the rest of Everybody. As a final note, Everybody has good vocal harmony. I really liked the way this came through on the chorus of "Mountain And The Sea" and "Maybe".

Lyrically, Michaelson plays things much more straight up than she did on Girls and Boys. Love and relationships dominate Everybody as seen on "Soldier" - "And so it goes. The soldier knows./The battle with the heart isn't easily won." and "Maybe" - "Maybe in the future/you're gonna come back/you're gonna come back around". It is obvious from the title alone on "Incredible Love" and "Once Was Love". The one song that would fit with the more unique style of Girls and Boys is "Men Of Snow" where Michaelson tells of building a snowman that she tells her troubles to only to find him melted the next day. Even this still seems friendlier to a wider audience than most of Girls and Boys.

All in all, Everybody is a major step forward for Ingrid Michaelson. While I enjoyed Girls and Boys, it almost seems esoteric compared to Everybody. Michaelson has created a sound that while featuring greater breadth in vocal range and instrumentation is at the same time more focused. Fans of KT Tunstall, Sonya Kitchell, and A Fine Frenzy should give this a try.

Download this: Maybe
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43 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2009
Let me start off by saying that I truly respect and admire Ingrid Michaelson and her amazing talent. I only write this review in the hope that it might make some difference for the next album, not to dissuade anyone from buying it.

I first heard Ingrid back when she played at the Bitter End, before she was on Grey's Anatomy, and I bought "Girls and Boys" on the spot. While I've given that album a rest for chunks of time, I always come back to it and find new depth in it. Although I've listened to it hundreds of times already, I've had it on my 1 GB Shuffle lately (minus a couple of songs), and it would be on Repeat if there were such a feature.

"Mountain and the Sea" was the first song I heard from "Everybody". I heard it online last week and couldn't stop playing it the one day it was available. The new album was coming out in only three days, and I was expecting the rest of the cd to grab me like "Mountain," so I could hardly wait to get my hands on it. But I'm sad to say I am a bit disappointed. I was hoping for something with the same depth and lasting power as "Girls and Boys," but after one day and just a few listens, I'm already close to taking half the cd off my Shuffle. "Soldier," "Everybody," "Mountain and the Sea," "Once Was Love," "Locked Up," and "Maybe" are all very catchy and my favorites at the moment. But most of them are very repetitive, containing only a few lines here and there that are on par to the lyrics from "Girls and Boys." Some of the less catchy tunes-- like "So Long"-- have good lyrics, but the sound is somewhat bland. "Boys and Girls" combined great tunes with great lyrics. "Everybody" splits the two (sometimes within a single song!) and the whole album suffers for it. One of my main gripes with the cd is the overuse of the word "love." Not only is the word in two song titles, but it's littered through almost every song in overabundance. "Girls and Boys" was about love too, but she didn't need to use the word so many times - she found more creative ways to express her feelings than "My love's too big for you my love." Now don't get me wrong - there are some really great lyrics on this cd. But they're easily drowned out by the incessantly nagging "love." While the title song is one of my favorites now, I don't know how long the catchy tune will keep me listening to "Everybody knows the love/ Everybody holds the love/ Everybody folds for love/ Everybody feels the love/ Everybody steals the love/ Everybody heals with love." Take this stanza, which starts out promising and ends all gushy: "Happy is the heart that still feels pain/ Darkness drains and light will come again/ Swing open your chest and let it in/ Just let the love, love, love begin." I almost want to believe that this overuse was a commentary by Ingrid on the meaninglessness of the word "love," but I fear the execution is too sincere to be taken as a parody of love songs.

Perhaps this cd was an attempt at mainstream radio music, focusing more on the catchiness of the tune than the depth of the lyrics. In that regard, it might work. But I hope she got it out of her system and the next album will be something I'd be inclined to share with friends, like I would the songs "Breakable" and "Overboard."

I'm being tough on this cd only because I had such high expectations and was hoping for a full album of songs that I'd be relishing years from now. While the cd as a whole is disappointing, there are some very nice gems on there. "Mountain and the Sea," "Soldier," and "Locked Up" are particular favorites of mine, strong in both music and lyrics (and making less use of the word "love!"), that might stand the test of time. And while the album may not live up to its predecessor, there's enough there for me to go see her live in September, and I have hope that her next album will be even better. At least I have a few great new songs to listen to for now. It was worth the money, and I would still recommend it to someone in need for some new music. This is a fine cd that I might have been happier with had the bar not been set so high with its older sibling. I'd give it 3.5 stars if I could.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2010
This girl is amazing! Every time I listen to this I pick up something new that I didn't really catch the first time. Not many albums pull that off these days so I was pleasantly surprised to have that happen. The songwriting is fantastic and the production makes it even better. She really put a great album together, one that you can listen to all the way through and be happy you did.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
After a few days of listening to Everybody on continuous rotation, I have come to really enjoy this release as a whole. Most of these songs will end up on one playlist or another of mine, and that's a testament to the range and variety of this album. While this album may not be best appreciated played in one sitting from start to finish, it includes a lot of songs that sound great when played individually or mixed in with other artists.

In certain ways, this album is a natural extension of Ingrid Michaelson's previous albums. Tracks like "Everybody" and "Men Of Snow" have the deceptively simple structure of some of her most successful songs. "So Long" has lovely vocals with simple and mellow guitar accompaniment. These kind of tracks are what many would expect an IM album to sound like.

Yet tracks like "Soldier" and "Mountain And The Sea" remind me more of the rock ballads like "Possession" from Sara McLaughlin's Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. On those songs, the harmonies and driving instrumentation add an energy that I really like. And "Locked Up" continues that trend with a piano rock song that blends the hand clapping and simple structures of other songs.

Songs like "Sort Of" seem to have more in common with the longing and softness of records like Tracey Chapman's New Beginning. The ground that she covers here gives you a sense of Ingrid Michaelson's versatility as a song-writer and performer.

I can appreciate the depth of more carefully written lyrics from prior albums, but I also respect that Ingrid is trying to expand her range as an artist. Some of these simpler songs may be more accessible and, thus, may win her new fans. There is always the risk that they may alienate long standing fans, but there is enough of her signature sound here.

"Once was Love" is a good example of how this album is both a step forward and a step back from previous ones. On the one hand, we have a rich instrumentation that includes violins and layers of percussion. On the other, we have repetitious lyrics that recycle certain concepts. There is validity to the criticism that certain words, like that four letter word "love," are over-used on these songs.

And yet, I give her a pass on that for one reason. When I listen to each song individually, most of them are still very good on their own. As I said, they may not be well designed for playing in the same playlist, but most of them will end up in one playlist or another. I'm not crazy about the repetition on songs like "Once Was Love" and "Everybody." But judging by the fact that the title track is already successful as a single, it's clear that most people disagree with me on that.

My personal favorites are "Soldier," "Sort Of," "Mountain And The Sea" and "Locked Up," though all of the other tracks add something. I think I like these tracks most because they show me a different side of Ingrid Michaelson that I didn't get to see as much of in prior albums.

CONCLUSION

This is an interesting new direction for Ingrid. The pop sensibility of this album is significantly increased, which may alienate some and appeal to others. But those willing to give this album a chance are likely to find more than a few songs that they like.

Enjoy.

**************************************
NOTE: The first disk I received had a problem playing the last track, #12, "Maybe." I am curious if others had this experience with the disk or if mine was an isolated case.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2009
I'm digging this cd. 'Soldier' is a great anthem, ready to rock you from the beginning, begging for attention. 'Are We There Yet' has a yearning to it in the vein of Glass on Ingrid's last album. Did I mention this album begs to be listened to again and again? Seriously, so many hot tracks to choose from. Now, to be honest I was a tad worried after that 'Be Ok' song, which I found tedious at best. But this is AWESOME, capital AWESOME. 'Chain' is great builder, with a huge climbing chorus of vocals at the finale. 'Mountatin and The Sea' is just feel good sing-along tune, but my FAVORITE has to be 'Once Was Love'....such a great album, though I had doubts after that silly, little 'Be Ok' song. I'll shut my mouth now. This is hardcore awesome, and Ingrid really nailed it here. Girls and Boys is still awesome too though. Awesome work, Ingrid!!! LOVING IT!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2009
So I'll admit that I haven't really followed Ingrid Michaelson. But I decided to go ahead and sample a few tracks from her new album. I was so impressed that I bought the entire album! And I've only been more impressed from there on out. If I were to characterize this album I would say it has great lyrics, catchy arrangements with guitar, piano, strings, and finally that sweet, sweet soulful voice. My favorites so far are "Soldier", "Sort Of", "Locked Up" and "Maybe". If there's an anthem of all the songs it's definitely "Maybe". I wouldn't be surprised if this album got a lot of radio play and lots of awards.
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on February 3, 2013
Just finished listening.

I am by no means an Ingrid Michaelson newbee. I liked "The Way I am" but then I didn't listen to her regularly for quite sometime.I bought this CD well...because I'm going through Sara Bareilles withdrawal.I know i like her non-mainstream stuff because a few years ago I got my mom "Human Again"(her newest CD) as a gift-and of course as it turns out she listened to it once and hasn't taken it out again.Whereas,I have the full CD on my Ipod.Of course there are a few I listen to quite a bit more then others but I'll get back to that later.
Here's my track-by-track on this one.

1.Soldier-I found this one to be a beautiful start to the album.Its not over-the-top but its not highly...slow either.Definitely going on the Ipod.
2.Everybody-Already on my Ipod. This song just makes me happy..puts me in an instant good mood. First heard on the Lady and The Tramp DVD/Blu Ray Commercial.
3.Are We There Yet-I came across a lyric video to this on Youtube a couple of weeks ago. I liked it.Granted I wasn't paying it 100% attention.I was multi-tasking. I like it. I like how it portrays happy endings and asks the question well "Are we there Yet?"
4.Sort of-Like it.Its a grittier love song.Kind of reminds me of "Love Song" in that sense now that I think about it.Will be going on Ipod.
5.Incredible Love-Like it.Will be going on Ipod.See review of "sort of"
6.The Chain-Okay so I actually heard this on a Youtube fan video of Once Upon a Time(One of my current favorite shows) like 3 months ago.Yeah,guilty...was multi-tasking again.I like it though.Will be going on my ipod.
7.Mountain and the Sea-Not one of my favorites.It nearly put me to sleep while I was listening.Just not in my taste/preference range.
8.Men of snow-It sounds highly depressing but I really like it.Will be going on Ipod.
9.So Long-Like it.Like the gritty nature of the song.Will be going on Ipod.
10.Once Was Love-Listening to this kind of reminded me of the first season of Once Upon a Time...I'm really not going to go into detail.Don't want to spoil it for people who haven't seen it yet.People who might want to.Like it. Will be going on my ipod.
11.Locked up-The first thing I thought when listening to this track...before the lyrics came on or anything.MAN,I WOULD LOVE TO BE ABLE TO PLAY THIS ON MY KEYBOARD. Love the instrumental.Love the lyrics.Will go on ipod.Will probably be played as opposed to skipped frequently.
12.Maybe-A really good ending track.It leaves the listener feeling really happy/good(well at least me).Its very upbeat.I like it.I like how she chose to end the album on a positive track.Its like the feeling you get when you finish a really good book.

I know I said I would talk about some of her other stuff...but first I wanna say how I really enjoyed the packaging. It was really easy to maneuver.Not so much like a DVD case as other CDs.Where you have to yank and yank and turn and hope to not break it.

Other songs:
Somewhere over the rainbow-Watched her singing it with the Sandy Hook kids online.Bawled my eyes out.Just had to say that.

Most played on Human Again:Fire,Do It Now,Blood Brothers(Studio Version),Black and Blue,In the Sea,End of the world(Studio recording is played more...but i love how she introduces it in the live track),Live it with Love

Winter Song:I figured someone might ask.I mean I did say I'm kinda here because of Sara Bareilles.I'm not crazy about this song.Its two great music artists.But the song itself doesn't really show off the best of either of them in my opinion.

Hope this extremely long review helps someone.
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on September 16, 2009
I am by no means a deconstructionist reviewer. I like books with some character development, a plot that is involving and moves along at a reasonable pace and some humor to occasionally lighten things up; if and when necessary. I sort of feel the same way about music. I like depth, breadth and variety in what I listen to. There are a lot of really dark songs and albums out there wrapped up in beautiful melodies, driving beats and/or with very distinct harmonies that make the messages blur from time to time... And I'm good with that. I look at an album/cd as an experience of sorts. Is it something that works when I'm looking for that rowdy, irreverent, ironic Tom Petty kind of thing (which is almost ALWAYS), is it an "in-between" kind of thing that should have both upbeat and mellow moments like Amos Lee's first cd of the same name? Can you see where I'm trying to go with all this?...... Because "Everybody" gets it done. It fits a Saturday afternoon picnic with friends in the back yard that becomes a slightly tipsy party by the time you pull the steaks off the grill and you're wondering if you should have just one more beer with dinner.

I like the cd. I like listening to all of it, beginning to end. I don't feel the need to skip over some songs to get to others and I don't find it a niche musical experience that is only enjoyable under very defined (and limited) sets of circumstances. Is is brilliant, exquisite or highly exceptional? Perhaps not. But she hasn't been alive as long as Sting has, had the multitude of life-altering events as say Cheryl Crow or Melissa Etheridge who have also been alive much longer than Ingrid has. But EVERYBODY is thoughtful, enjoyable and a clear demonstration that this is a girl who has A LOT TO OFFER! Give it a listen and see if you don't agree.
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