INGRID MICHAELSON "Girls and Boys" Cabin 24

Friday, November 16, 2007

INGRID MICHAELSON"Girls and Boys"Cabin 24

"IF YOU ARE CHILLY, here take my sweater." Sound familiar? Perhaps the only thing that can stall singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson's career at this point is overexposure. "The Way I Am," a typically offbeat ballad on her latest CD, "Girls and Boys," became ubiquitous thanks to a recent Old Navy commercial, and several of Michaelson's songs have popped up on "Grey's Anatomy." Though her music is strictly an indie affair (released on her own label), Michaelson is garnering the kind of media attention that often eludes major-label artists.

Still, it seems unlikely that Michaelson's insinuating croon, smart lyrics and clever arrangements will wear out their welcome anytime soon. "The Way I Am" now serves as a familiar interlude on "Girls and Boys," but the CD offers plenty of reasons to keep us from having our fill of Michaelson. For starters, there's "Die Alone," a ballad concerning love and death that spirals into thrumming pop-rock. Then there's "Masochist," with twangy overtones, followed by "Breakable," a piano ballad about emotional vulnerability that boasts waves of vocal harmonies. Given the purely sonic pleasures on these tracks and others, it's easy to overlook those moments when Michaelson's confessional themes are no match for the sound of her flitting soprano and her winning ways on keyboards and guitar.

-- Mike Joyce

Appearing Saturday at Jammin' Java. (703-255-1566, Show starts at 9:30. This show is sold out.

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