Colbie Caillat - Breakthrough
Colbie Caillat has sold over two million albums on the back of an aptly named single called 'Bubbly', yet I’d wager that the vast majority of the UK population have never heard of her or her particular brand of folk-pop. Much like her contemporary, Taylor Swift (with whom she has previously duetted), she seems to have made a much bigger splash on the other side of the pond.
Whether that’s likely to change with this, her second album, is debatable. The album comes loaded with catchy pop hooks, heartbroken ballads, folky guitar and big choruses, and there’s no question that she can sing, but somehow the whole is weaker than the sum of the parts.
This is in part due to her cheery delivery. It’s perhaps unfair to criticise a pop album for being lightweight, and delivery on a ballad being too wet, but the lyrics sometimes contrast so sharply with the delivery in parts that it’s hard to avoid when she opens the album by delivering a line like “I won’t do what you told me, I won’t do you what you said” with all the passion and conviction of a train guard apologising for ten-minute delay at Crewe. In short, the heartbreak on this record just isn’t convincing and doesn't sit well with her chirpy, upbeat style.
The other problem is that for every 'Fallin’ For You' or 'Begin Again', with a big chorus, there’s two unconvincing, generic ballads, and the whole album has such a homogenous feel to it that it soon melts into one overly saccharine whole.
Two bonus tracks attempt to sweeten the deal for the UK. The first, a duet with Jason Mraz, 'Lucky', is a pleasant enough thing and their voices work well together, while the reggae version of 'Begin Again' is the very definition of dispensable.