Who doesn’t love some dramatic chest-writing?
Deep down, in the depths of my soul, there exists a middle aged woman who believes she’ll die alone. I’ve tried multiple exorcisms to rid myself of this spiritual squatter, as it’s really not appropriate for a 23-year-old man to share space with a disembodied cougar. Unfortunately, I think she’s here to stay. Thus I’ve named her Bea Arthur and welcomed her to stay as long as she’d like. Over our time together, I’ve learned she believes in the heavy use of red wine and indie singer-songwriter music to self medicate. So, when Ingrid Michaelson’s new album, Human Again, dropped yesterday Bea was a very happy 45-year-old. She had me reaching for my biggest glass and a fresh bottle of Pinot.
Ingrid’s new CD is very different from everything she’s done up until now. It’s a lot darker. Her lyrics have always been a bit like that; I mean, she was the girl that covered Radiohead’s “Creep” on ukulele. She’s even joked at concerts that people think her little ukulele songs are so cute, but they forget that the lyrics are about dying alone and crying yourself to sleep every night. Well, for Human Again she sticks with the whole love-sucks-and-maybe-I’m-going-to-punch-you vibe, but the musical accompaniment matches the lyrics this time. Ingrid sets the tone right from the first track, “Fire.” It’s fast paced with lots of drums and synth sounds, and singing about how she’s “walking in a fire, into you, you burn me up.” Don’t worry, though. She still has quite a few down-tempo songs that you can cry yourself to sleep to. I made sure to check. You can count on lyrics like “It’s all because of you, that I’m through.” Presumably she’s through with love? Or potentially bathing. That usually happens after breakups too, the lack of hygiene.
Another gem is “I found somebody who said he’d make me fly, wrapped me up in ribbons and then left me to die.” I actually really like the song this line comes from: “Ribbons”. It starts off really slow and quiet, and then takes off at the chorus, where we get to yodel along at full volume that we’re “not flying, not flying so damned high in the sky”. You see, we’re not flying because he left us to die, in case you’re not following the dramatic arc of this song/story. Be sure you have your alcohol of choice in hand when you sing along to this one, slur your words a bit, and gesture wildly. It really adds a nice… je ne sais quoi. You could also invite all the other single ladies from the block over and maybe have a sing-along. Though “Palm of Your Hand” probably sets a better tempo for a group
voodoo session against ex-lovers dance party.
Anyway, thank you Ingrid. Thank you for making Bea Arthur human again. Also, I’m buying tickets to go to Ingrid’s LA concert today. Let me know if you’re interested in joining the party. I’ll bring the Bea and the Pinot.