Ingrid Michelson’s “Songs for the Season”

Ingrid Michaelson’s Songs for the Season/

Story by Lily Stephens, Multimedia Editor

Ingrid Michaelson has long been due for her own full-length Christmas album. In 2017 she released “Snowfall,” a Christmas EP. The EP had a classic Ingrid Michaelson feel with lofty high notes, powerful phrasing and original lyrics. With “Songs of the Season” she has taken a more mainstream approach to some Christmas classics and put out two original songs: “Happy Happy Christmas” and “Looks Like a Cold, Cold Winter.”

While the album is well-rounded and Michaelson’s voice is perfect for any jazzy winter tune, it lacks her classic flair. Some songs feature moments of that flair, but overall the album lacks her personality. One of my favorites, an original, “Happy Happy Christmas” has a creative opening that leads into a beautiful harmony filled verse and chorus. Her flawless and iconic transitions to high notes are incorporated perfectly into the piece. The feeling that “Happy Happy Christmas” creates should have been placed throughout the album for a more original spin on these classic songs. While her renditions are still beautiful, I was hoping for more original Michaelson sound.

The 12-song album features sounds from six other artists. Featured artists include Christina Perri, Will Chase, Grace Vanderwall, Allie Moss, Bess Rogers and Leslie Odom Jr. Michaelson recorded “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” with Vanderwall and released it as a single. Vanderwall and Michaelson’s voices compliment each other but again lack in personality. My personal favorite duet is “All I Want For Christmas is You” featuring Leslie Odom Jr. He is know for his powerful voice, dynamics and belt tone; however, he is able to dial all that back and flawlessly match the delicate nature of Michaelson’s beautiful intro. Their harmony adds a new flavor to the upbeat pop-Christmas tune.

Despite my personal disappointment with this album, I still enjoy listening to it as I begin to get into the Christmas spirit. As someone who has been a fan since I was literally 12, I wanted more of Michaelson. However, I can understand the desire to break into a more mainstream listener’s earbuds during the Christmas season. This is the album you want to play in the background during your cozy evening in while drinking a cup of hot cocoa and rereading a favorite Christmas story by the light of your roaring fire.