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Unbreakable Smile

Tori Kelly | Unbreakable Smile

Label: Capitol
Release Date: June 23, 2015
Rating:  3.5 out of 5
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July 02, 2015
By Amaris Rodriguez
With a cool R&B and pop sound, singer-songwriter Tori Kelly makes her official debut this summer. The twenty-two year old from California released her first studio album titled Unbreakable Smile on June 23rd and it has landed her among the best up and coming artists. The one-time YouTube sensation now has the attention of the music world at a whole new level and is sure to keep going forward.

The California native started out auditioning for talent shows like American Idol but no one could have predicted the buzz she would create in the future. With a mixture of pop songs and soulful riffs Kelly creates a sound that is all her own. Starting off her album with “Where I Belong”, Kelly uses it like a small introduction for the rest of her album. Sending the message that she belongs making music, the song kicks off with smooth vocals and barely there acoustics to showcase her talent.

The tone of the album was set from the beginning with “Where I Belong” and carried through the entire album. The title track “Unbreakable Smile” followed and the lyrics gave insight as to why it was chosen as the name of the album. Kelly sings about what she wants her career to be like and confirms the laid back vibe her music gives. She sings “Maybe they’ll let me sing songs about real things and baby who knows maybe I can sell out shows without taking off my clothes” and it rings like a breath of fresh air coming from the mouth of a soon-to-be music sensation.

Her first single “Nobody Love” is the third track on the album and also the first single released.  It was released on February 8, 2015 and reached number 60 on the Billboard Top 100. Composed of the same smooth vocals and riff that the other songs on the album are made up of, “Nobody Love” is still catchy enough to grab the listener’s attention and make them wonder what other songs Kelly sings.

Even though Unbreakable Smile is Tori Kelly’s debut album, she was still able to score some duets with featured artists. Among some artists who collaborated with Kelly is Ed Sheeran. The two singer-songwriters collaborated on one of the strongest songs on the album and with Sheeran’s vocals on the track; “I Was Made for Loving You” is going to give Kelly more attention than imaginable.

While the other duets with LL Cool J and Daye Jack give the album a little variety, Unbreakable Smile tends to stay true to Kelly’s signature sound. While the subject of some songs stays the same, love songs being a big focused, all most all of them contain that R&B and pop sound with vocal riffs throughout. Tracks like “City Dove” and “Talk” can sound too repetitive, especially when placed in the middle of the album. While still a strong debut album, Unbreakable Smile could have used a bit more variety throughout to give it more dimensions and showcase more of Kelly’s both singing and songwriting ability.

Even so, Unbreakable Smile still gave Tori Kelly a strong debut and launched this young singer-songwriter into the mainstream music scene. Already debuting at Number 2 on the Billboard 200 charts, it is only going to gain more momentum. Thanks to a strong debut, looks like Tori Kelly is going to be able to sing her songs about “real things” and gain listeners attention while still staying true to herself. Already one of the most watched up-and-coming artists, nothing seems to be able to break Tori Kelly right now.
Facebook Comments: Keep 'em clean folks!
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