Despite having multiple Grammy nominations and songwriting credits for music’s biggest stars under her belt, Julia Michaels is finally stepping back and into her own spotlight with a debut album. From sad, to scary, to sentimental, Michaels navigates all of the emotions in her head with a relatability that reminds us of the confusing, imperfect human condition. Not In Chronological Order is a fun mix of wordplay and dramatic feelings; the perfect continuation of her appropriately-titled previous EP release, Inner Monologue.
A personal favorite off the album, ‘Little Did I Know’ shows off her superb songwriting finesse painting a triumphant story and exemplifying the way she perfectly flows through her music with bounce and passion. ‘The Kind of Woman’ examines her self-critiques and who she wishes she could be, making every female feel embarrassed by it’s truthful nature, especially in the ending with the melancholy lyrics of, “if the me I am walked out that door/would I miss her, maybe, a little bit, sure/oh I love myself, but I’d love her more/ yeah that’s the kind of woman I’d leave me for.”
The fast-paced earworm “Undertone” matches the madness encapsulated in the song, not being able to ever completely forget a past love no matter how much it’s desired. If there were to be an award for best one-liner, it would go to ‘Orange Magic’ for the lyric, “I took apart my couch cushions looking for my feelings, now I’m in them”.
Sassiness and confidence serve the theme for the jealousy-inducing, could’ve-had-this mentality of ‘Wrapped Around’, which spills over into the singles, the frightful ‘All Your Exes’ and groovy club-track ‘Lie Like This’.
Julia Michaels proves to be an artist that just keeps getting better and this album is a strong showcase of her skills as a singer-songwriter. Her solo debut marks an exciting time in her artistry that will no doubt keep the accolades rolling in as she continues to grow in her unique sound and position she’s already carved for herself in the industry.