Colbie Caillat’s sweetness turned a little too syrupy on her sophomore set, Breakthrough, so it’s a relief to hear a bit of a snap to the sunny songs on 2011’s All of You. It’s a difference evident in the rhythms -- she’s not just strumming, she’s swinging, sometimes urged along by handclaps -- it’s a difference evident in the bigger, bolder melodies and, most of all, it’s evident in the production, the record bubbling with textures and colors that keep Caillat from succumbing to her inherent pleasantness. Colbie is so cheerful she even brings warmth to notoriously chilly hitmaker Ryan Tedder, who nobly sacrifices his sheets of sounds at the altar of Caillat’s beachside pop because there is no darkening her sun. Despite a slightly heavier accent on reggae, both in the rhythms and the lyrics, the noteworthy shift on All of You is that Colbie Caillat has embraced soft rock, letting her surface shine and sparkle, letting her songs pulse with melody instead of drifting off into an amiable sleep. The result is easily her best record yet: a soundtrack equally comforting during a lazy weekend afternoon or a hard Monday morning.
All of You Review
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine