Colbie’s had to learn the hard way. She’s fought tooth and nail to get where she is in the music industry, and the Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter’s appeal is the way she put’s her heart on the line constantly throughout her music. New album Gypsy Heart is no different, but does it manage to stand up to the dizzying heights of previous efforts?
Having previously written for Taylor Swift and worked with Gavin DeGraw, the girl knows who to hang around with, and some of the magic seems to have rubbed off onto her own music as a by-product. Opener Live It Up is fun and forthcoming with Colbie singing about chasing her dream. If you like your music straight out of talent shows, then this one’s for you. It could easily be sold as one of those releases you get from whoever wins one of the contests, which is actually pretty ironic considering Colbie was rejected from American Idol back in the day.
In fact, the entire album sounds like something fresh from a talent show. Full of live for the moment lyrics and lonely sob stories, the album dances round issues, hitting the nail on the head in areas, but unfortunately falling wide from the mark in others. On the one hand, Try manages to create atmosphere, going through the motions of a teenage girls struggles with popularity in a fresh and inventive way, but on the other hand tracks such as Land Called Far Away fade into blandness with no new ideas.
The record does have its highlights however. Never Gunna Let You Down’s Country swagger and rolling drums will have you tapping your feet in no time, and is the perfect pick me up after the heartbreaking Try. Just like That is also worth a mention with its slow build up, with good strong vocals and pleasing synths sitting pretty in the background.
Despite the often predictable big choruses in most of the songs, the tracks are well thought out and work in their own right, its just there’s too much unoriginality, which hasn’t been the case on previous albums. It kind of sounds like a “safe album” where Colbie almost seems scared to try something new and different. This is a shame because being her fourth album, this is exactly what’s needed to keep things interesting. Gypsy Heart is a good listen in small doses, but needs a few more messages and different ideas to make it great.