A crummy kaleidoscope

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The Spectrum

Artist: Sara Bareilles

Album: Kaleidoscope Heart

Release Date: September 7

Label: Epic Records

Grade: C+

Three years ago, Sara Bareilles' catchy pop single "Love Song" could be heard during commercials, in movies and TV shows, or even at the mall.

Since then, listeners have been able to drown out those once loveable lyrics and are ready to be introduced to the next offering from the LA-based songwriter.

Unfortunately, Bareilles' new project, Kaleidoscope Heart, is nothing special.

The album offers 13 tracks of bland alternative pop, the majority of which are indistinguishable from anything else on adult contemporary radio. There simply isn't much on the record to set Bareilles apart from her peers.

Admittedly, the album is not without its bright spots.

The a cappella title track which begins the record showcases Bareilles' strong vocal abilities and is undoubtedly the album's most beautiful moment.

Equally strong is "Gonna Get Over You," which has a charming, showtune-esque feel to it. The song is a fun and jaunty number that would work well in a live setting.

Despite its strong start, Kaleidoscope Heart fades in the stretch. Many of the songs sound practically identical to each other and feature painfully generic lyrics.

In the lead single, "King Of Anything", Bareilles tells off a nameless antagonist. It coincides with the typical "girl power" messages that Meredith Brooks and the rest of Lillith Fair polluted the airwaves with back in 1997. There's no need to revisit that territory anymore.

Equally cringe-worthy is "Let The Rain," which actually begins with the lyrics "I wish I was pretty, I wish I was brave." These lyrics would fit comfortably in a seventh grade poetry class, but a woman in her 30s should know better than to put them into a track.

Sara Bareilles has brief moments of greatness, but lacks the lyrical wit or depth of contemporaries like A Fine Frenzy or Regina Spektor. Kaleidoscope Heart is a fine record for those who just want catchy pop tunes, but listeners seeking substance would be wise to look elsewhere.