Release Date: March 10th 2023
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
Colbie Caillat– Will You Count Me In (Amazon mp3/iTunes)
- Magic (Coco, 2007)
- Midnight Bottle (Coco, 2007)
- Bubbly (Coco, 2007)
- Realize (Coco, 2007)
- The Little Things (Coco, 2007)
- Droplets (feat. Jason Reeves) (Breakthrough, 2009)
- Fallin’ For You (Breakthrough, 2009)
- I Never Told You (Breakthrough, 2009)
- Lucky (feat. Jason Mraz) (We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things, 2008)
- I Do (All Of You, 2011)
- Brighter Than The Sun (All Of You, 2011)
- Favorite Song (feat. Common) (All Of You, 2011)
- You Got Me (Breakthrough, 2009)
- Try (Gypsy Heart, 2014)
- Hold On (Gypsy Heart, 2014)
- We Both Know (feat. Gavin DeGraw) (Safe Haven film, 2013)
- Bubbly (Acoustic) (Coco Acoustic Sessions, 2008)
Colbie Caillat, a folk/pop singer/songwriter similar in theme to John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Missy Higgins, Jewel, Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, and Ed Sheeran, is an artist whom we wrote about at length in our blog series. You can read all about Colbie, her achievements and her influence here; and I’m sure you’ve heard her songs such as “Bubbly”, “Realize”, “Fallin’ For You”, “Lucky” (with Jason Mraz), “I Do”, “Brighter Than The Sun”, and “Try”, amongst others. We also wrote about Colbie’s influence in her short-lived country band Gone West (who released one album in 2020). Colbie has recorded plenty of well-known smash hits, but as of 2022, Colbie has been dormant for a while. Colbie, who split from her band Gone West, and decided to create solo music again, made a comeback of sorts in 2022. Colbie’s last full length solo album was in 2016 (The Malibu Sessions), but she released “Iris” last year. Yep, that cover from Goo Goo Dolls. We reviewed the song here (probably a pointless review!), but it was mainly because I felt that aside from the Goo Goo Dolls original version and Ronan Keating’s version… there’s no other resounding version of this track. And this makes Colbie’s rendition all the more powerful. It’s close to the original recording, and it’s energetic, vibrant, and passionate. With Colbie dipping her toe back into being a solo artist, with a cover of a timeless classic; it makes us marvel at her vocals and anticipate what is next all the more.
This year though, Colbie is back. According to her website, Colbie just finished recording a new album in Nashville, TN and is currently set to release the first single in the first quarter of 2023. Yet this past week, Colbie released a compilation ‘greatest-hits’ album, titled Will You Count Me In. The result is… an underwhelming and unremarkable release that feels tired and worn and unnecessary. Granted, Colbie is now an independent artist, and this album was a label release on Republic Records (perhaps fulfilling her contract obligations); but regardless, much more thought should have been put into this release, to ensure long-time fans and newer listeners would equally be satisfied. Greatest hit compilation albums are tricky because you have to include the hits (and probably every hit!) as well as some rare and exclusive tracks and probably a brand-new song teasing a forthcoming album. Colbie’s release does none of that for me. Sure, “Lucky” and “We Both Know” are included on this compilation, which are rare collaborations (with Jason Mraz and Gavin DeGraw respectively), but that’s where the positives end. On a 17-track greatest hits project spanning 15 years, and with 5 songs from Coco (2007) and 4 from Breakthrough (2009), and only 2 from my favourite album Gypsy Heart (2014) and none from The Malibu Sessions (2016), then you know that it’s a flawed album. There is an emphasis on the earlier songs, which is fine, but what about making the album a double disc? Including Colbie’s original Christmas songs from her Christmas album in 2012, or even including a few Gone West tracks, would have brightened up the track list; or what about “Never Getting Over You”, “Blaze”, “Never Gonna Let You Down”, “Land Called Far Away” or “Live It Up” from Gypsy Heart? What about “Like Tomorrow Never Comes” from The Malibu Sessions? If Colbie has really just finished recording a new album, what about including the next new single? Exclusive remixes or demos? No matter which way you slice it, this is a poor release. A near perfect greatest hits album would be Little Mix’s Between Us (4-5 versions of the album is pretty awesome, am I right?) or even Robbie Williams’ 63 song-long deluxe edition of his 1997 album Life Thru A Lens. If you’re a Colbie fan like myself, you’ll be severely disappointed here, and you’ll actually want to pretend that this release doesn’t exist. The songs are great, no doubt about it, but the song selections are off by miles!
What is next for Colbie Caillat? Presumably a new solo album in 2023, I firmly believe. Will it be a rock album (seeing that she covered a rock song in “Iris”), or a covers album (seeing that her latest ‘new’ track is a cover!) or something similar to her previous material? Only time will tell. We blogged about Colbie in our influential artists of all-time series– so take a read of that at your leisure. Colbie’s discography and songs are inspiring, moving, powerful, relevant, and relatable. And this extends to “Iris”. But her latest compilation album is an epic fail, so… there’s that little blemish. Aside from that though, I still can’t wait to hear what’s next from Colbie within the upcoming year, and I wouldn’t let one album taint all of you listeners either!
RIYL: Sara Bareilles, Norah Jones, Sheryl Crow, Jason Mraz, Ed Sheeran, Christina Perri