Independent artist Ingrid Michaelson's 2008 release Be Ok, a benefit album that will include previously unreleased songs, demos, covers and live recordings in addition to the title track (produced by Stacy Jones and Bill Lefler - Ronnie Day, Meg & Dia, … see full wiki
There are 11 songs on Ingrid Michaelson's 'Be OK' -- 2 are slightly different versions of the same song, one is a live version of a song on a previous album, and another two are covers. The album length as a whole clocks in at just over 30 minutes. If I were a cynical man, I would number these things as disappointments.
But it's nearly impossible to listen to 'Be OK' and be cynical about it. There's an irresistible charm in this music; the same charm that brought Ingrid's previous 'Girls and Boys' to life makes this CD practically glow. The title song, "Be OK" bookends the album with two different performances, and sets the tone perfectly. There are sad songs like "Giving Up" and "Keep Breathing", and the familiar "The Way I Am" gets new life here with a live performance. Even the covers of "Over the Rainbow" and "Can't Help Falling in Love" have new presence with Ingrid's unique vocals and soft, almost sweetly hesitant performances.
As for the truly new material, there's lots of good stuff too. "Lady in Spain" and "Oh What a Day" are clever, almost sprightly songs, while "You and I" has a sunny cheeriness and a sense of fun heard only rarely in modern music, and never quite like this. Perhaps my personal favorite song on the album, "The Chain," is a live performance starting out with a memorable line ("The sky looks pissed...") and developing into an astonishingly moving and complex harmonized vocal. These are memorable songs, and stand up to listening to over and over again.
Simply put, this is a CD I can listen to and smile. Even in the sad songs there is a purity and a sweetness that breaks through the hardest heart. The music feels at times fragile, at times off-kilter, at times surprising, but always hitting the right note, saying the right words. Just over 30 minutes of music, and it's just right.
'Be OK' is more than OK...much more. Just listen and see.