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Album Review

When the Hotel Café became a nationally recognized launching pad for songwriters in 2008, Ingrid Michaelson stood out amongst artists who regularly played the venue, flaunting a confident sound that was a cut above the average female crooner. Her second indie album, Girls and Boys, made waves one year prior when it topped the iTunes charts, eventually selling over 740,000 copies of its lead single thanks to licensing deals with Old Navy and Grey's Anatomy. Released in 2008, Be OK continues her Norah Jones-gone-pop approach with 11 tracks. This isn't a proper studio effort — rather, it's a benefit project (with proceeds going to cancer research) that takes its material from live performances, rarities, and several new tracks. Filled with handclaps and breezy guitar chords, the titular "Be OK" bookends the set list with two different versions — one filled with harmonies, keyboards, and percussion, and the other sticking closer to an acoustic arrangement. Michaelson's voice is strong enough to carry those tracks alone, but her melodies sound strongest when flanked by harmonies, whether they're provided by the singer's own double-tracked voice or contributions from her touring bandmates. "The Chain," a longtime live favorite and perhaps the best song on this disc, even careens into a three-person round, utilizing the harmony approach better than any Michaelson track since "The Way I Am." She leads the pack, advising her ex-lover to "glide away on soapy heels" while her melodies are echoed by Bess Rogers and Allie Moss. It's a simple song, but its presentation makes all the difference — a telltale sign of a songwriter who knows how to breathe new life into a veteran genre.

Customer Reviews

Her voice brings you to places you could not otherwise go

Hearing Ingrid sing is a thousand smiles upon a thousand children's faces. Her words and music find a place of hope from the first album to her latest. You will not be disappointed. By far the best album to pick from this week and next and most likely the week after that. Her voice is just so sweet and pure, like fresh honey in a fine tea. Like the carmels your grandfather use to give you as a child. "Be Ok" and you'll be better.

LOvELiFe!!!!!

this is 1 of the best cds i can listen 2 it all day!!! its smart and what i call brillant:) click if u think im right:)

Stunning album - don't miss the lesser known tracks!

I'm sure the (wonderful) covers are going to be very popular from this album, but don't skip over "You and I" off this superb album. I've been in love with Ingrid's music from the very first moment I heard "The Way I Am" on Grey's Anatomy. I'm fortunate enough to live in Los Angeles, so I've seen Ingrid in concert 4 times now. The true test of a musician is how good they sound live - and Ms. Michaelson does not disappoint. Her voice, and that of her bandmate/backup singer Allie Moss, is world class. Check out "The Chain" from this album for another excellent example of their harmonies. I can't say enough good things about Ingrid or this album. It's hard to even recommend individual tracks - the album is well worth the purchase price.

Biography

Born: December 8, 1979 in Staten Island, NY

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

With her piano-fueled songwriting, witty wordplay, and slight vocal vibrato, Ingrid Michaelson carries the tradition of the female singer/songwriter into the 21st century. Befitting a musician of the digital age, Michaelson first gained wide exposure through spots on TV soundtracks, including Grey's Anatomy and One Tree Hill. Born and raised on New York's Staten Island to an artist mother and classical composer father, she began exploring music through piano lessons at the age of four. After college,...
Full Bio

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