Combining predictable, yet soulful lyrics with a sound that is not quite pop, not quite folk and not quite modern rock, Colbie Caillat’s second album â€œBreakthroughâ€ is a work that is simply irresistible to the ears.
It doesn’t matter that the 24-year-old is still maturing as a musician and a song writer and that process is evident- â€œBreakthroughâ€ is just too charming and catchy to be ignored.
Featuring 17 tracks, â€œBreakthroughâ€ is a love-ballad fest that will easily remind older music aficionados of classic tracks by James Taylor, Jim Croce, June Carter and Marc Cohen, showing that despite her age, this young woman has a wide range of tastes and influences. Younger listeners will think she’s one of a kind and over time, that may eventually be the case. However, as of right now, it’s obvious her music is geared more towards those looking to appreciate it, as it isn’t suited to be blasted in cars. Nevertheless, it’s far from being a guilty pleasure. Instead, it straddles the line between pop and soft rock in a way that many musicians today aren’t capable of.
Songs like â€œBegin Againâ€ and â€œFallin’ for You,â€ the album’s first single, are easily the two most appealing tracks to the teenage and younger crowd, as they are simply dripping with charisma, personality and feature lyrics that they can most identify with. As of a matter of fact, it’s that element, to be able to speak to her listeners with relate-able and real lyrics that make the album an enjoyable one. You’ll feel like Caillat is singing to you, inducing thoughts of loves both lost and won.
For that, the album is a spirited success.
It doesn’t matter that the lyrics aren’t as deep as someone like Sheryl Crow’s or Lisa Loeb’s. Caillat is a breath of fresh air in a tired pop-rock scene that needed someone to go out and simply sing. There’s no synthesizers. There’s no remixes. Instead, it’s a woman [and a good-looking one at that] singing about love and how she doesn’t know what to do with it.
That in itself is something that everyone can relate to with every ounce of their heart. Embodying the essence of a scared, yet accepting and life-loving person, there isn’t a depressing song on this album. If you find yourself smiling during one of her songs, don’t worry, it’s only natural when something is this wholesome and carefree.
Sarah McLaughlin fans should look elsewhere.
While some of the songs have a poppy feel to them,â€œRainbowâ€ has the type of folk-rock textures that would induce a head turn from Jack Johnson. â€œYou got meâ€ is another song that screams folk-rock and and manages to continue the happy-motif that possesses nearly every track on the album.
Continuing the smÃ¶rgÃ¥sbord of musical textures present in the album, the title track feels like a Fleetwood Mac song [easily explained by the fact that her father produced both â€œRumorsâ€ and â€œTuskâ€] that shows her diversity and an ability to stray away from the uber-happy go lucky feel the rest of the album has.
The same thing goes for â€œBreakin’ at the Cracks,â€ a song that along with an acoustic guitar and some strong piano work is a much more mature offering that show what Caillat may be capable of in the future.
Nevertheless, the album is far from perfect as some of the songs sound a bit too similar. From the first few chords, it’s hard to tell some of the them apart. Lyrically, the album is strong, but at times, it feels as if Caillat is trying to say too much in each line, making solid lyrics sound jumbled. rather than sweet.
Growing pains for sure, but forgivable in the end. Especially when everything else is as strong as it is.
As far as sophomore albums go, â€œBreakthroughâ€ may not be â€œPiano Man,â€ but it’s solid enough to ensure that her music is continually whistled for the next few years.
As of right now, she’s well on her way to becoming the industry’s good-looking acoustic and soft-rock sweetheart.
That by itself is plenty for someone [who by the looks of her lyrics] is still discovering herself as not only a musician, but as a person as well.