The heavily hyped singer-songwriter has finally released her first album. With Scooter Braun as her manager and Max Martin as a prominent producer on the album, Tori Kelly is packaging herself for greatness. As far as the actual music goes, it’s pretty fire too.
The title cut Unbreakable Smile, which Kelly wrote by herself, is quite catchy.
The lead single Nobody Love is a typical Max Martin tune — a huge hit. The horns, the extremely suave chorus, and the typical Martin synth are the foundation for a standout tune. Expensive keeps the album moving in the right direction with a sexy baritone sax lick, and a solid rap from Daye Jack. And then the album takes a turn for the worse. Should’ve Been Us and First Heartbreak are snoozefests. The appearance of Ed Sheeran helps her album with a beautiful song, but it’s the polar opposite from the first three songs.
The album continues to go poorly after I Was Made For Loving You, but then LL Cool J comes around (I’m stunned that I just wrote that LL Cool J saves the album). Everything that the beginning of the album established is furthered in this track (no surprise that Max Martin wrote it). LL Cool J also delivers a laugh out loud line: “Your legs deserve their own day of the week: Thighday.” The last two songs are a boring way to close out the album. Overall, this album has some really shining moments, but there’s a lot of filler on the album. If Tori Kelly is smart, she will listen to every word that Max Martin says because he is responsible for every high point on this album.