Most helpful critical review
43 of 58 people found the following review helpful
Some really nice songs, but overall disappointing
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.