Colbie Caillat - Coco

Colbie Caillat

(Universal Republic)

First Appeared in The Music Box, September 2007, Volume 14, #9

Written by John Metzger

Sun September 2, 2007, 06:00 AM CDT


Colbie Caillat is not what she initially appears to be. Thus far, her biggest claim to fame is that "with no marketing push" she once was known as the #1 unsigned artist on MySpace, where her songs were spun more than 10 million times by apparent passers-by. On the other hand, her father Ken served as co-producer of Fleetwood Macís Rumours and Tusk. Anyone thinking there isnít a connection here is asleep to the prevalent media manipulation practices that currently dominate the internet and advertising worlds.

Still, Caillat isnít a talent-less hack. For starters, she penned or co-penned all 12 of the tracks on her debut Coco. Although her lyrics largely mine the familiar ground of romantic relationships that are in various stages of either building up or breaking down, she has an unerring knack for wrapping her warm, inviting voice around the engaging melodies of her infectious confections. While her material falls somewhere between folk and pop, she sings it with the R&B-laden sultriness of Joss Stone.

Caillatís biggest problem, however, is that as Coco progresses, its songs all begin to sound the same. Mikal Blueís slick production pulls out every trick in the book, and the utter predictability of his arrangements has the effect of causing Caillatís mid-tempo musings to blur indistinctly together. Thereís no doubt that from a professional perspective, the material is well-executed. Nothing is offensive, and the entirety of the collection is quite pleasant to hear. Nevertheless, with all of its rough edges having been shorn away, the result is that Blueís gleaming production turns Coco into an album that also is mediocre in the worst possible way. Caillatís generic refrains induce, rather than ward off, a soporific stupor, which makes Coco the perfect endeavor for plying customers with more coffee. starstar

Coco is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


Copyright © 2007 The Music Box