Pushing the door wide open, Ingrid Michaelson has made her best album. She lost her voice for several months last year, so she has a new appreciation of her gift. Her voice is deeper and more soulful. And she still employs girlish “ooh-ooh” harmonies, but the result is more adult, at times like an ethereal Kate Bush. She experiments with many colors, from synth-pop to funk stomp to piano ballads. And she switches her approach from writing all the songs to using 10 co-writers. Michaelson sings about loves lost, found, and otherwise, but there are breakthrough moments in the urgency of “Time Machine,” the synth-pop of “Handsome Hands,” and the surging “Wonderful Unknown,’’ where she sings “nothing lasts forever, but the sound of love astounds me every time that it calls.” You might expect a schizoid clusterbomb from “Lights Out,” but instead it’s an impressively seamless mix. (Out Tuesday).
ESSENTIAL "Handsome Hands"
Michaelson performs at the House of Blues
June 2 and 3.