Playing to her strengths perhaps too often, Michaelson spreads the love all around her lyrics. There’s “Incredible Love,” “Once Was Love” and then the chillingly cute chorus of on the title track.
Everybody, everybody wants to love /
Everybody, everybody wants be to loved /
Oh oh oh /
Oh oh oh
Oh ... no ... mo’. It leaves an aftertaste as sweet as sugar and as artificial as saccharin. And while her voice may be considered delicate or fragile, on songs such as “So Long” and “Men of Snow” it comes across just as shrill and grating as anything Tiny Tim (“Tiptoe Through the Tulips”) let loose on a bad hair day.
At least the orchestration (violins, viola, cello from numerous contributors) comes to the rescue for one brief, shining moment. On “Sort Of,” those sounds beautifully complement one of the inexplicably few piano-driven numbers. The lively “Mountain and the Sea” and the bolder “Soldier,” where Michaelson discovers her inner Tegan and Sara while playing the role of a warrior who “knows the battle with the heart isn't easily won,” also prove there is more to this ho-hum love story.
Unfortunately, those junior achievements are few and far between. While “Turn to Stone,” was a remarkable contribution to a critical episode of Grey’s Anatomy this season, the contemplative keeper doesn’t appear here. Instead, there’s “Locked Up,” another love-gone-wrong song where the protagonist searches for her heart. “If I was 17 I could find it in-between / The cushions of somebody's couch,” she writes, knowing those teen years are only a memory and fodder for weak melodrama.
As Michaelson quickly approaches thirtysomething, though, here’s hoping she also realizes it’s OK to grow up a little and admit it when you’re too pooped to pop.
See the official video of “Maybe” from Ingrid Michaelson’s Everybody: