With the 2007 success of her debut album "Little Voice," Sara Bareilles has reason to feel confident in her own vision: After all, her self-penned piano groove "Love Song" was not only a major hit, it earned her two Grammy nominations.

So Bareilles' sophomore release, "Kaleidoscope Heart," is a musical "take that" to anyone who wants to tell her what to do next or how to be.

Bareilles sticks to her specialty of clever, snappy lyrics and soulful songs on the album. The first single "King of Anything" is about the frustration of receiving unsolicited advice: "You've got opinions man/ We're all entitled to 'em/ But I never asked/ So let me thank you for your time/ And try not to waste any more of mine/ Get out of here fast."

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The harmony-driven "Machine Gun" is a sharp-tongued retort to critics who use cruel words as their weapon of choice. "Maybe nobody loved you when you were young/ Maybe, boy, when you cry, nobody ever comes/ Will you try it once?/ Give up the machine gun."

There are somber tunes on the album, including the title track, which is a short, one-minute introduction song, and the bluesy "Bluebird."

Bareilles, 30, turned to Neal Avron (known for working with rock bands such as Linkin Park, Fall Out Boy and Weezer) to produce the record and give it a pop sound with edge. There's also a clever sample of Alfred Hitchcock on "Not Alone" about Bareilles living by herself.

Check this track out: The peppy, doo-wop declaration "Gonna Get Over You." It's impossible to not tap your foot or sing along to this one.

'Kaleidoscope Heart'

Sara Bareilles


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