Ingrid Michaelson is involved in some of the most creative music videos I’ve ever seen. She loves to turn things on their head just a little bit. We’ve seen this in the past in her video homage to Robert Palmer’s “Simply Irresistible” video with her own “Girls Chase Boys.” With the help of SoulPancake, she’s at it again with their official “Time Machine” video, in which a cast of guys including everyone from Rainn Wilson (Dwight from The Office) to Rob Delaney and Steve Agee (Comedy Central’s The Sarah Silverman Program) to Donald Faison (Scrubs) attempt to usurp her role, singing her lyrics. Rainn Wilson is particularly hilarious in his lounge singer scarlet suit taking over the piano. Of course, the point is that these guys are placeholders for the “hot babes” who would typically be in the music video background. At every turn, Ms. Michaelson appears both flummoxed and confused about how these guys got in her video and what on earth they’re doing. By the end of the video, she wrenches back control.
“Time Machine” is a great song on its own; it’s a little more pop-oriented than is typical of Ms. Michaelson, but it really works and is clearly branded as her own with its cutting lyrics: “I got your letters/I got your words/I stacked them high/And lit them all and let ’em burn/Your broken stories/Don’t mean a thing/You made that bed/Good luck falling back asleep.” Ingrid Michaelson doesn’t mess around. She also marks it as her own with a little light piano interlude, change-up starting after the chorus with “Oh, your love, it got me higher/Then it drove me up the wall/But the higher up you go/The further you will fall.” So, even with the sweet sounding melody, she’s still making it clear – don’t mess with her.
It’s great that she can take a pretty serious song with a fun beat and have even more fun with it in this music video. It’s a mark of a great artist that they can have fun and make light of themselves and she does so in spades in this music video. Lights Out is a great album and this is a seriously great and funny video. This is the most fun I’ve had watching a music video since, well, “Girls Chase Boys.”