Album Review: Human Again

★★★☆☆

   On her new LP Human Again, indie-pop artist Ingrid Michaelson provides listeners with her take on heartbreak. 

   The album begins with "Fire," an apt title for the powerful emotion of the song. The synthesizers and guitar do well to augment Michaelson's vocals, which give the song a bittersweet feel that continues throughout most of the album.

   Following is the deceptively named "This Is War," which doesn't translate as violently as its title would suggest. Michaelson brings in the ukulele and backs it with synthesized beats. Her cooing voice contrasts sharply with the lyrics, which seem to convey a silent anger at a lover's betrayal.

   "Ribbons" moves into folk territory again, using new instruments to create a major change in the album's sound. The track is much more upbeat than most of the album and also resonates with more strength. The lyrics tie in with the rest of the album's subject: being left to die by a lover. 

   "Keep Warm" is one of the last tracks on the album and also one of the only ones that actually sounds as sad as its theme. It returns to the use of more poppy instruments, which Michaelson leads on a slow-tempo piano. 

   The unsurprising album closes with "End of the World," which is also a fittingly sad track about how the loss of love feels like the end of the world. This track is also piano-heavy and includes more of Michaelson's melancholic cooing.

   The album would have been stronger if it actually ended there, but two bonus tracks were added which don't complement the album at all. "End of the World" leaves the listener with an understanding of Michaelson's hypothetical romantic situation and incites sympathy, and the extra tracks interrupt this.