Review : Colbie Caillat - Breakthrough
AllmusicColbie Caillat's breakthrough arrived before Breakthrough, when her debut Coco turned into a breezy surprise hit. Breakthrough isn't meant to catapult Caillat into a mainstream that already knows her, but to consolidate her success, so it's not entirely a surprise that the album bears evidence of her showbiz kid roots, a record that relies just a bit more on the studio than the song. It's a creation that's slicker and sleeker than the debut, but fortunately, it's not quite at the expense of Caillat's simple charms. The high-buff sheen on Breakthrough can mean that the songs glide down a little too smoothly, sliding down like a velvety Piña Colada which is perhaps a bit too sophisticated after the everyday charms of Coco, and perhaps a little bit too polished for Colbie in general. Underneath all that gloss, Caillat remains a simple girl singing songs of love as light and crisp as a sugar cookie. Too many of these in a row can cause a toothache, but having a handful at a time is a sweet ordinary treat....full text
RollingstoneColbie Caillat's smash 2007 debut single, "Bubbly," established her as, well, bubbly — a slightly ditzy Southern California gal specializing in folk-pop ballads about getting "the tingles in a silly place" when she sees a cute boy. On her second CD, she's still crushing on guys. "I think I felt my heart skip a beat/I'm standing here, and I can hardly breathe," she coos in "You Got Me." Caillat has a fine voice — clear and ringing, with a hint of a rasp — and she can write hooks. (She co-composed every song here.) But the simpering puppy love grows wearying over 12 tracks, especially because Caillat fails to convince as a romantic heroine. She sounds too goofy — too bubbly and tingly — to be lovelorn....full text
SlantmagazineColbie Caillat's music is so banal and nondescript that even the most lovesick listener will be hard-pressed to feel moved. Nearly every song on her sophomore effort, Breakthrough, is nauseatingly bouncy, accompanied by lyrics so generic they're not even worth quoting. In the liner notes, the Malibu, California singer-songwriter says the album is "about becoming the person you want to be, having will power and letting nothing hold you back. So try not to let great things pass you by, start making things happen that you really want in life!" She makes Jewel seem like a modern-day philosopher. Once again, Caillat's famous dad, Fleetwood Mac producer Ken Caillat, is on the boards for most of the album, but this time around he's thankfully joined by a handful of more modern writers and producers, including John Shanks. Freshman American Idol judge Kara Dioguardi deserves some credit for helping Caillat deliver one of her most emotive performances to date on the melancholy "I Never Told You"; on any other record, the song would be easily tagged as mediocre filler, but here it's an album highlight. Katy Perry producer Greg Wells manages to give "Fearless" a pulse (albeit a synthetic one), while veteran songwriter Rick Nowels boosts the softly rollicking "Runnin' Around" with a whopping three keyboard players and four guitarists. To the extent that the production and arrangements mask Caillat's inadequacies as a writer and performer Breakthrough is a marginal improvement over her debut, Coco. At the very least, there's nothing as stomach-turning as "Bubbly" here, so by that measure, the album lives up to its title....full text
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