Colbie Caillat is back with a sophomore album to follow up the huge success of Coco and it's obvious she's matured not only as a musician, but as a person. Starting from the first track, the songs all echo themes of hope, but also have more complex arrangements with additional instruments and melodies. It's still the Colbie from "Bubbly," but with the extra experience a couple of years brings.
Unfortunately, the tracks of the album start to all sound the same after you've heard three or four. Caillat has managed to pull together a set of songs that all fade into the background quickly. She's a beautiful girl and has a wonderful, breathy quality to her voice. But I never heard the "Breakthrough" I thought the album title was suggesting.
If you liked the tracks from Coco, I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy Breakthrough as well. Unfortunately there isn't enough crunch here to set this album apart from most of the other recent sound-alike pop performers on the radio these days.
That said, there are some good tracks on the album. I think "I Won't" starts off the album in a great way. It has a bit more power to it, with its drum beats driving throughout. Falling in love with a good friend has its pitfalls. But sometimes you have to take that leap. As she says in the song "…I say you lose when you give up what you love / And I've lived my life without you long enough."
Though "Fallin' For You" has a theme that we've seen again and again, I have to admit that the video with Caillat and Saturday Night Live cast member Bobby Boynihan is a lot of fun. There's something about the fool getting the girl that I can definitely identify with. You can see the video at YouTube.
"I Never Told You" is about missing the opportunity to tell him how she felt about him, and now he's gone. It's a story we've heard before, but her lyrics sum up that hole you step into at the end of a relationship – "I see your blue eyes / everytime I close mine / you make it hard to see / where I belong to / when I'm not around you / it's like I'm not with me." When you've been in a relationship for a while, it's hard to find yourself again when it's done.
Breakthrough is a good album, but there are no surprises here from Colbie Caillat. I was hoping for more risks and a few different styles or sounds from an album titled "breakthrough," but didn't get them. If you're a fan of Caillat's album Coco, you'll probably enjoy Breakthrough. But I hope that when her next album comes around, she takes some chances to break out of her comfort zone.