Unbreakable Smile [Repackaged]

Unbreakable Smile [Repackaged]

by Tori Kelly


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Improbably combining the heartfelt optimism of Taylor Swift with the literate soulfulness of Alicia Keys and the melismatic virtuosity of Mariah Carey, Tori Kelly's full-length album, 2015's Unbreakable Smile, is a thrilling, positive-minded debut. Although Kelly had been an active performer since she was a child, appearing on America's Most Talented Kids and even walking away from a recording contract with Geffen when she was just 12 years old, it wasn't until she struck out on her own as an adult that she began gaining wider recognition. In fact, it was getting booted off American Idol in 2010 that ultimately set her down the creative path toward writing her own songs and recording Unbreakable Smile. Produced by Max Martin (Kelly Clarkson, P!nk, Ellie Goulding), Unbreakable Smile finds Kelly expanding upon the stripped-down vibe of her initial EPs, 2012's Handmade Songs and 2013's Foreward, with a set of emotive, well-crafted songs that straddle the line between melodic rock and contemporary R&B, and acoustic singer/songwriter pop. Part of what makes Kelly so extraordinary is that, while being a truly gifted vocalist (she has perfect pitch), she's also an adept guitarist and songwriter who works as her own best accompanist. As her acoustic EPs proved, she almost doesn't need a producer, let alone a mega-producer like Martin, to knock your socks off. Nor does she need the help of saccharine Brit Ed Sheeran, although his presence dueting on "I Was Made for Loving You" only serves to back up the notion that Kelly is a knockout vocalist. In fact, one of the best tracks on Unbreakable Smile isn't even a full track, but just the album's 1:27 intro number, "Where I Belong." An acoustic, heartfelt declaration of grounded self-awareness, it's a low-key yet absolutely stunning way for Kelly to kick things off and sets you up perfectly for what's to come. And though she immediately dives headlong into a sonically juicy, old-school '90s R&B-inspired aesthetic, she never gets overwhelmed by the production. On the contrary, cuts like the summery, Janet Jackson-esque title track, the funky, Brand New Heavies-sounding "Expensive," and the hypnotic, unrequited relationship anthem "Should've Been Us" are universally relatable, utterly infectious songs that you immediately want to hear again. Ultimately, Unbreakable Smile illustrates Kelly's struggles to remain true to her own astute, artistic vision in the face of an industry that often seems to exhibit a perplexing mistrust of real, organic talent. As Kelly sings on the exuberant title track, "La da da da dee, you're not breaking me."

Product Details

Release Date: 01/29/2016
Label: Capitol
UPC: 0602547683052
catalogNumber: 002446402
Rank: 35360

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tori Kelly   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Victor Indrizzo   Drums
Pino Palladino   Bass
Max Martin   Synthesizer,Percussion,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Joi Gilliam   Background Vocals
Mattias Johansson   Violin
Stefan Persson   Trumpet
Alexander Kronlund   Guitar,Saxophone,Background Vocals
Staffan Findin   Trombone
Johan Carlsson   Bass,Guitar,Wurlitzer,Toy Piano
Claude Kelly   Background Vocals
Chuck Harmony   Bass,Piano,Keyboards
Rickard Goransson   Guitar,Percussion,Keyboards
Oren Yoel   Bass,Guitar,Piano,Keyboards
Noah Passovoy   Bass
Taura Stinson   Background Vocals
Oscar Görres   Guitar,Keyboards
Maria Ekvall   Violin
Jonas Thander   Saxophone,Horn Engineer
Ed Sheeran   Guitar,Background Vocals
David Bukovinszky   Cello
Ilya Salmanzadeh   Guitar,Piano
Magnus Ramel   Keyboards
Laleh Pourkarim   Guitar,Background Vocals
Peter Carlsson   Tambourine
Chonita Gillespie   Background Vocals
Gustaf Thörn   Piano
Max Wulfson   Violin
Allwyn Kelly   Bass

Technical Credits

Jimmy Gonzalez   Engineer
Max Martin   Composer,Programming,Producer,Executive Producer
Joleen Belle   Composer
Adam Anders   Producer
Vincent Watson   Engineer
Jacob Luttrell   Composer
Frank E.   Producer
James Todd Smith   Composer
Peer Astrom   Producer,Engineer
Lindsey Jackson   Composer,Additional Production
James Alan   Composer
Alexander Kronlund   Composer
Johan Carlsson   Composer,Programming,Producer
Toby Gad   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,Instrumentation
Claude Kelly   Composer
Mattias Bylund   String Arrangements
Savan Kotecha   Composer,Executive Producer
Chuck Harmony   Composer,Producer
Malay   Producer,Engineer
Rickard Goransson   Composer,Programming,Producer
Ali Payami   Programming,Producer,Instrumentation
Oren Yoel   Producer
Zac Poor   Composer
Noah Passovoy   Engineer,Vocal Producer
Sam Holland   Engineer
Joe Peluso   Engineer
Ozgo   Producer
Oscar Görres   Programming
Justin Franks   Composer
Hayley Warner   Composer
Jonas Thander   Horn Arrangements
Oscar Holter   Composer,Programming,Producer,Instrumentation
Ed Sheeran   Composer,Producer
Tori Kelly   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Vocal Producer
Oren Kleinman   Composer
Laleh Pourkarim   Composer,Engineer,Vocal Producer
Peter Carlsson   Engineer,Vocal Producer,Vocal Editing
Jakob Jerlström   Composer
Ludvig Söderberg   Composer,Programming,Instrumentation
Struts   Producer
James Ryan Ho   Composer
Thom Macken   Composer,Additional Production
Doron Dina   Engineer
Lukas Loules   Composer
Daye Jack   Composer
Michael K. Johansson   Engineer
Jeanette Steiner   Composer

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