It’s difficult to remember a period where female vocalists have been so prevalent, or dominant, for that matter. From the cathartic (Florence Welch) to the emotional  (St. Vincent) to the inescapable (Adele), this trend shows no signs of stalling.

Ingrid Michaelson is another example. Using her soundtrack appearances on American middle-class melodramas such as Grey’s Anatomy and One Tree Hill as a crutch, Michaelson has gone on to have significant success in the upper reaches of the US charts.

As history tells us, however, such success doesn’t always equal quality output.

Predictability is at the heart of Michaelson’s fourth LP, Human Again. With producer David Kahne (Paul McCartney, Lana Del Rey, The Strokes) at the helm, the album is as slick as any pop release this year. This often works to a fault, with the tightness of the song structures rarely giving the hooks enough room to breathe.

It also devalues much of Michaelson’s previous indie sentimentality. Songs such as ‘This Is War’ and ‘Blood Brothers’ attract more shine than substance and are buried under the weight of their production.

The end result is another throwaway pop album being played at a Bunnings near you.

-Paul Bonadio

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