June 28, 2019 Julia Michaels – Inner Monologue Part 2 (EP Review)
At one point or another, everyone has let someone else take credit for what he/she has accomplished. That in mind, the same holds for the 25 year old Julia Michaels. A singer and songwriter who started writing music at an early age, she has collaborated on some of today’s biggest hits – from Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” to Selena Gomez’s “Hands To Myself.” Although, there are some stories that hold too personal to share, but Michaels has found her voice to tell her truths and share them with the world returning with her new EP, Inner Monologue Part 2, on Friday, June 28th via Republic Records.
Looking back through her story, Michaels begun singing at age 12. Shortly after, she met songwriter Joleen Belle and co-wrote the theme track to TV production Austin & Ally at the age of 14. From that point on, the collaborations overflowed, and she has been credited to write hits for many others, including Demi Lovato, Fifth Harmony, and Britney Spears.
Then came the moment Michaels felt the tracks written were getting too personal, so she shifted into reserving songs for herself and baby stepped into her singing career. That is when her single “Issues” lead as her first release for the 2017 Nervous System EP. Peaking at Number 11 on Billboard’s Top 100, Michaels marked her path by earning Grammy nominations for Song Of The Year and Best New Artist. Since then she has opened up for Shawn Mendes, Maroon 5, and P!nk on tour, leading up to the release of this past January’s EP Inner Monologue Part 1, and now the follow-up, Inner Monologue Part 2.
Her third overall EP, it is an eight song collection where Michaels fearlessly speaks of her instability, addresses her shames, and embraces her joys. From the youthful spirit and summer love in “17” to sassy confession in “Priest,” she has a way to translating her inner thoughts with conviction. There is no over the top production and there is no sugarcoated or try to read between-the-lines message. Instead, the freestyle-like movement in her writing is something distinguishable for the 25-year old Pop star as the tracks hold like an open diary.
This in mind, vulnerability shines in “Falling For Boys” as Michaels plays on what type she likes, but how she “keeps falling for boys, and mistaking them for men.” The “Apple”-esque like sequel carries a nostalgic yet fairy tale infused aura with simple ukulele and chimes until bass kicks in. Then “Fucked Up, Kinda” holds the same style musically, just at a faster pacer while Michaels & ROLE MODEL describe the tugs and pulls of a messed up, kinda relationship.
Continuously transparent, “Work Too Much” is pretty much the anthem of adulthood, as we get too caught up in work to notice everything happening around us. While most would probably express this with a display on the fear of missing out, Michaels speaks her truths in a more matter-of-fact way. The same honesty and integrity is woven through the closing track “Shouldn’t Have Said It” where low keys and synths are a change of pace from the majority of the EP as Michaels delivers a half-hearted apology; and only half-hearted, because in the moment of overreaction and anger, she meant it.
If there is one thing that holds true, it is that Julia Michaels strives to celebrate the good, the bad, and the ugly with dancing, crying, and laughter. She is truly a diamond in the rough. Through her truths she finds an immeasurable connection with her fans all while healing the wounds of those ex’s that somehow find a way back, being hurt again, and self reflections of acceptance. For these reasons Cryptic Rock gives her Inner Monologue Part 2 EP 5 out of 5 stars.
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