A large part of Brooke White's considerable charm on American Idol was how she was cheerfully, completely out of time -- a '70s relic hauled out of the back of an attic, dusted off, and cleaned up without regard for modernity. An element of this time warp remains on High Hopes and Heartbreaks, her second album and first of any profile, but she's shifted her timeline somewhat, adding some sass and sweetness learned from late-'70s Olivia Newton-John, inadvertently proving there's a big difference between Grease and Tapestry. It's a difference that gives High Hopes a vague feeling of putting on a show, a perhaps inevitable side-effect from being on a talent contest, one where she was judged on how she made a song her own, as she does here by imagining what would happen if Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody" was performed by an America fronted by Carole King. America provides a frequent touchstone here -- their Harrison-esque slide guitars popping up all over the place, their "Ventura Highway" name-dropped just before Joni's Ladies of the Canyon -- and that's when White is at her best, creating a dreamy soft rock for a hazy, sunny afternoon. Of course, this is the sound White has always done best, both on American Idol and on her debut Songs from the Attic, and when she tries to break out of this sound she gets into some trouble, wearing the disco threads of the title track quite uncomfortably and getting caught in the molasses sludge of stately ballads. Fortunately, these moments don't happen all that often -- enough to notice but not enough to hamper the enjoyment of a sweet, likeable album that largely follows through on White's Idol promise.
|Label:||June Baby Records|
Performance CreditsBrooke White Primary Artist,Piano,Vocals,Bells,Hand Clapping,Wurlitzer,Lead
Fred Mandel Synthesizer,Piano,Strings,Hammond Organ,Wurlitzer
Steve McEwan Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals
Sal Oliveri Strings
Ana Lenchantin Cello
Dave Cobb Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Percussion,Electric Guitar,Xylophone,Bells,Hand Clapping,String Pads
Rune Westberg Guitar,Percussion,Keyboards
Wes Precourt Violin
Chris Powell Percussion,Drums
Tom Douglas Keyboards
Technical CreditsGreg Gordon Engineer
Randy Jackson Executive Producer
Kelley Lovelace Composer
Steve McEwan Composer
Amy Foster Composer
Brian Porizek Art Direction
Michael Johns Composer
Caleb Followill Composer
Nathan Followill Composer
Jared Followill Composer
Matthew Followill Composer
Sal Oliveri Producer,Engineer,Contributor
Phil Margaziotis Engineer
Dave Cobb Composer,Producer
Brooke White Composer,Liner Notes,Art Direction
Rune Westberg Producer,Engineer
Tom Douglas Composer,Producer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
High Hopes and Heartbreaks based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
High Hopes and Heartbreak is excellent. My favorite songs are "Out of the Ashes" (number two) and "smile" (number seven). Brooke White is a great fit for anyone who likes The Carpenters, Taylor Swift, and/or Kris Allen.
I love this album. I know Brooke wrote all but one song, she's such a talented person. I find myself singing Radio Radio all the time.
Once again Brooke White manages to put together another very solid album, this time on her own label with the backing of Idol's Randy Jackson. This was the first time Jackson put himself out for a former American Idol finalisst like this and that's telling in and of itself. Nearly all the songs on the album -- save for a solid cover of Use Somebody by Kings of Leon -- were written by White and the storytelling of professional and personal hopes and heartbreaks in these songs is at times achingly honest and always refreshing, but that's what makes Brooke White one of the most unique and enjoyable talents out there. You ride the gamut of emotions, wanting to dance around the house to Radio Radio, to flying along in your car singing along to Little Bird to getting teary over Be Careful. You also get a lovely tribute song to growing up in Phoenix that will make you think back to your friends and family and growing up, as well as a tribute to some of her favorites from the 70s in California Song. Whether you watched American Idol or not this is one you'll want, as one the songs goes, to ride along with in your car for a couple of million miles and sure to put a smile on your face.
Brooke White is an American Idol. Great album.
I did not watch the season of AI that Brooke was on. I found this CD in my library and had read online that "little bird" was a good song so I checked it out. Wow! I was really surprised to find an amazing new artist. These songs are so simply and honestly written but just beautiful. There are ony 1 or 2 songs that I am not crazy about. The rest are just one classic after another. Reminds me very much of james taylor, carole king, carly simon..sort of in that vein. The writing and singing is exceptional. I am definitely looking forward to purchasing Brooke's next album and the girl has found a fan for life. I hope she has the opportunity to keep making records. Definitely an album worth checking out.
Brooke White's latest cd, "High Hopes & Heartbreak" is a wonder! Great music that is perfect for a long summer drive. Beautifully orchestrated, this cd is one that you would risk wearing out for playing it over, and over, and over again. Not many cds in this day and age are as authentic and real as this one is. Brooke recorded each song all the way through for each track. No stops in the middle and cut & pastes along the way. She sat in the studio and recorded it right on the spot. Something that is quite unique nowadays. It brings a feel of the 70s while attaining something that is fresh and new, an unappreciated hit if you will. If there is one album to buy this year it's this one right here. I guarantee there is not a more soulful, true pop album out there reminiscent of the singer-songwriters of the old days with a splash of brilliance of Colbie Caillet, Kelly Clarkson, and Kate Vogele. This is some real music. Man does she pull it off like no one else could. Brooke White ushers in the new era of music. Independent and free from the big companies of olden days, Brooke started her own company for this record. A choice that made this album shine like it could no other. "High Hopes and Heartbreak" is the start of something really special for this young woman. If you don't buy any other cds, I would recommend this one right here.