It Doesn’t Have to Make Sense

After a year coping with illnesses, her mother’s death and the end of her marriage, Ingrid Michaelson earned a musical catharsis. Perhaps she’s experiencing it on her tour (which includes two shows at the Fillmore in San Francisco, Oct. 24-25), because it’s hard to tell what she got from her newly released seventh album. The title could have been her response to record execs hearing the final cut. “So, Ingrid, you shoved three Meghan Trainor tracks into a Shawn Colvin album ….” It doesn’t have to make sense. “You’ve got the lead single, ‘Hell No,’ buried near the end ….” It doesn’t have to make sense. “Sound and mood skip willy-nilly ….” It doesn’t have to make sense. She surely intended deeper meaning; the production decisions just don’t make much sense. Many of the songs rank among her weakest—more like those of an emo teen artist than the polished writer of “Be OK” and others. If you’re a Michaelson fan, cherry-pick a playlist with “Light Me Up,” “Hell No,” “Still the One” and “Celebrate.” Better yet, maybe just catch a gig.