Album Review

Ingrid Michaelson, 'Everybody'

September 7, 2009

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Ingrid Michaelson Everybody
Cabin 24
ESSENTIAL “Locked Up’’
Ingrid Michaelson plays a sold-out show at the Paradise Rock Club on Saturday.

Ingrid Michaelson has become one of the queens of pop-music placement in soapy TV dramas for a reason. Her songs are superficial glosses on true emotions, often filled with deadening clichés that our culture soaks up with alarming alacrity. While she seems like the twee offspring of Lisa Loeb, she lacks any of Loeb’s quirkiness and charms while retaining the annoying preciousness. Michaelson’s fourth disc, “Everybody,’’ puts all her limitations on display. She actually tries to build the title track around the chorus of “Everybody, everybody wants to love/ Everybody, everybody wants to be loved.’’ No one is asking for nihilism, but this smacks of either naivete, ineptitude, or pandering. This lack of complexity marks most of the tunes. Michaelson co-produced the album with Dan Romer, and while they keep things spare with occasional strings augmenting an acoustic ensemble, they resort to melodrama on “Men of Snow.’’ It sounds grandiose, but the song is hollow at the core (no doubt listen for it on the TV show “One Tree Hill’’). Michaelson is best taken in small doses. (Out now)