Katharine McPhee Remains 'Unbroken'
"It took me a long time to figure out where I wanted to go and be as an artist," McPhee says. "I needed time to learn who I was as a musician."
From the looks of it, McPhee realizes completely that her first album was a mistake. Back on her season of idol, I was calling every night and voting for McPhee, over Taylor Hicks. Traditionally speaking, the female idol contestants tend to catch my attention over the men. I don't know why this always happens, but very rarely do I find myself drawn into the story and the music of a male idol contestant. Adam Lambert and Kris Allen may very well be the only two exceptions to this rule, so who knows what this next season of Idol holds for me.
According to her label, Unbroken is going to reveal a whole new side to McPhee as an artist. "Poignant, vital lyrics swell over full, lush melodies," Verve says. Unbroken also showcases McPhee's songwriting skills, seeing her co-write a majority of the album's 13 tracks. Joining McPhee on this journey are talented songwriters including Rachael Yamagata, Ingrid Michaelson, Kara DioGuardi, Lucie Silvas, Gary Go, and Paula Cole. The one cover is a cover of the 70s pop hit "Brand New Key," originally sung by Melanie. "I'd never heard that song in my life," says McPhee. "It's so weird and cute. People who really know me know that I'm a weird funny girl." Sounds perfect to me! I love "Brand New Key," ever since I bought and proceeded to play out my copy of the Boogie Nights soundtrack.
Produced by John Alagia (John Mayer, Jason Mraz), the album's tracks seem to be the perfect blend of ballads and more uplifting, up-tempo fare. First single, the Kara DioGuardi co-penned "Had It All" features "upbeat melodies [that] contrast the often downbeat lyrics of someone who appears to have lost it all." "Say Goodbye" is a beautiful example of the type of song Katharine McPhee was meant to sing. Making it's debut on an episode of CSI: New York co-starring McPhee.
It seems to me like everything is falling into place for McPhee. Not only is she involved in the songwriting process, but she's creating a whole new image for herself, ditching her brunette locks and going blonde. "I didn't think I would cut my hair off or go this blonde, but I'm going through changes." Searching for lyrics and meaning in the record just sort of forced me to examine inside and out."
I think that I'm just going to go ahead and pretend that the first album never happened. Let's all pretend that Unbroken is her long anticipated debut album. I think this way of thinking serves everyone best.
- "It's Not Right" (Lucie Silvas/Gary Go)
- "Had It All" (Kara DioGuardi/Mitch Allan/David Hodges)
- "Keep Drivin'" (Katharine McPhee/Chris Tompkins/Rachael Yamagata)
- "Last Letter" (Barry Dean/Luke Laird/Katharine McPhee)
- "Surrender" (Katharine McPhee/Ingrid Michaelson/Marshall Altman)
- "Terrified" (with Jason Reeves)" (Kara DioGuardi/Jason Reeves)
- "How" (Lucie Silvas/Mike Busbee/Alexander James)
- "Say Goodbye" (Troy Verges/Aimee Mayo/Chris Lindsey/Hillary Lindsey)
- "Faultline" (Lucie Silvas/Shridhar Solanki/Rachel Thibodeau)
- "Anybody's Heart" (Barry Dean/Luke Laird/Katharine McPhee)
- "Lifetime" (Boots Ottestad/Katharine McPhee)
- "Unbroken" (Paula Cole/Katharine McPhee)
- "Brand New Key" (Melanie Safka)