Colbie Caillat's sophomore effort Breakthrough suffered a bit of the `sophomore effect,' despite reaping some benefits from Caillat's debut effort Coco. Hits "Bubbly" and "Realize" certainly helped to promote Breakthrough to a number one bow on the Billboard Album Charts (106,000 copies). Not underwriting "Falling For You," the lead single from the effort, but as a track, it was perhaps a bit `too bubbly', non-chalant, and lacking in grit. That is not to say that All Of You is a bearer of some new found `machismo' or `girth' from the pop singer, but it certainly `packs more a punch.' Led by single "I Do," All of You is a solid pop effort.
"Brighter Than the Sun" opens the album strongly, with hand-claps and acoustic guitar. Caillat's vocals are nice and her tone is always exemplary. Ryan Tedder & Noel Zancanella provide nice production work to support the breezy singer, always allowing her vocals to shine through the sheen. "I Do" follows, with production duties handled by Greg Wells, finding the vocalist in top-notch form once more. The hook is simple and repetitive, but for such a `cutesy' cut the likes of "I Do," this simplicity is much appreciated. Caillat sounds great, barely breaking a sweat. "Before I Let You Go" continues the high level of momentum, changing the pace slightly from openers "Brighter Than the Sun" and "I Do." Here, Caillat is supported by a solid percussive groove, that aids (in tandem with electric piano) to give this cut an urban undertone. The bridge is a undisputed highlight.
"Favorite Song" indeed is a `favorite, featuring unlikely collaborator Common. The opening instantly draws in the listener, opening strummed guitars and Colbie's background vocals: "I wanna be your favorite song/you can turn it up and play me all night long..." Common's initial verse unfurls instantly, finding the MC inspired (more than 2008's loathing Universal Mind Control). The overall effect of the cut is `tongue-in-cheek,' but the results are superb. Tedder and Zancanella's production work is top-notch. Follow-up cut "What If" contrasts the tropic vibe of "Favorite Song" in favor of more of a blue-eyed soul/pop number. Appealing, the cut doesn't quite reach the bar set by the best. "Shadow," similarly, is strong, but not the strongest. "Shadow" finds Colbie's father Ken handling production duties and finds her boyfriend/guitarist contributing songwriting, guitar playing, and harmony vocals.
"Think Good Thoughts" is an overt turn from "Shadow" delving into a reggae-tropical vibe. Produced by Toby Gad, this track is one of the production standouts by all means. Additionally, Kara Dioguardi, Gad, and Caillat contribute some sound lyricism here, which Caillat performs perfectly. The best lyrics are on the refrain: "Think good thoughts, think good thoughts/imagine what the world would be if we will, we just/think good thoughts, stop the bad from feeding/oh won't let the negativity turn me into my enemy/promise to myself that I won't let it get the best of me/that's how I want to be..." If one is looking for a comparison, think Jason Mraz's folksy "I'm Yours." "Like Yesterday," another contribution from producer Ken Caillat is also enjoyable, even it trails "Think Good Thoughts's" magnificence. The organ sound is a high point.
"All of You" features superb low register vocals by Caillat, celebrating her smoky, husky tone. The songwriting is solid as always. Not the best cut, "All of You" is an above par title-cut. "Dream Life, Life" possesses a more overt rock sound, but that doesn't offset the mellow Caillat in the least - she's still `bubbly.' "What Means The Most" again exploits the beauty and breadth of Caillat's lower register, proving to be the best part of this penultimate cut. As a track, the song is solid without being exceptional or the most enthusiastic moment of the effort. Closing cut "Make It Rain" finds Caillat playing acoustic guitar for the first time on the effort, though her boyfriend Justin handles lead duties. A song credited only to Caillat, it is good, though not nearly as great as opening cut "Brighter Than The Sun."
Overall, All Of You is a solid, enjoyable pop effort. It contrasts so many pop albums released in 2011 and proves to be a nice `change of pace.' There are some flawed moments, but for the most part All of You is on `autopilot' throughout. Highly recommended.