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Ingrid Michaelson gained a more significant audience with the release of her fifth album, Human Again. Writing radio-friendly pop and singer/songwriter tunes helped, but most of the audience came from the many TV spots her songs have appeared in. “Grey’s Anatomy” alone has featured 15 of her songs.

On Lights Out, Michaelson goes for more bombast, harnessing the theatricality that has made her concert audiences keep coming back for more. Michaelson has figured out how to take that happy-go-lucky feeling and put it consistently into songs you can’t help singing along with.

The great exception to this is “Handsome Hands.” Placed smack in the middle of the album, it is a dark, foreboding song about the meaning of life and death. “When the lights do go out where do we all go?/When the fallout comes we know the show must go/Can you feel me crying out to you are somewhere?/Can I see you?”

This album also highlights the influence of new collaborators. Most of the songs were cowritten with Nashville-based songwriter Trent Dabbs, but the album also features her husband, Greg Laswell, Christian singer Mat Kearney, and some production work by Katie Herzig. These collaborations allow Michaelson to enter new territory as an artist while keeping her audiences singing along. (Cabin 24 Records)

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