I’m pretty sure the last time I listened to Ingrid Michaelson was in 2011. Seriously.
I was a freshman in high school when I heard her singing in that cliché indie voice, singing about getting rich and buying a home in the South of France. (My little wannabe flower girl self totally fangirled over her songs.)
I probably wouldn’t be amiss to say we all thought she had just faded out of the music scene. But then out of the blue, she came back. Released on June 28, 2019, Stranger Songs is Michaelson’s latest attempt to be an indie artist.
This album was quite literally based on the Netflix original TV series Stranger Things. There are 11 tracks on the album (go figure). From “Freak Show” to “Take Me Home,” each song deals with a scene or portion of the show. Billboard interviewed Michaelson and had her break down the meaning of each song.
Listening to the album, I felt extremely unimpressed. It was monotonous and honestly really cheesy. Maybe if I was still 14, I would like it. Who knows. Regardless, something about the album really rubs me the wrong way.
I’m all for using art as a means of inspiration to create new art. But this seemed a little much for me. I adore Stranger Things, but to make a song about Dustin getting bullied or Nancy breaking up with Steve? Maybe it’s just me, but if you’re making an entire album about another show/work of art, you might need some more creativity.
[Side note: I can’t be too horribly upset with this album because one of my favorite albums is the exact same concept. Tales of Mystery and Imagination by The Alan Parsons Project. It puts Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous poems to psychedelic rock music.]
Anyway. Michaelson’s album still bothers me.
Fave song: Missing You
Least fave song: All the rest of them
Overall rating: 2/10… Sorry, Ingrid.
My thing is this: in a world of great synth pop, I simply cannot find a reason to like this album. It’s really only something I think we’ll be hearing on a muffled radio in JC Penney, not featured on Season 4 of Stranger Things.