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|Kelly Clarkson - Stronger Review|
|24-10-2011 08:17 | 0 comment(s)|
| It's safe to say Kelly Clarkson has outlived her American Idol beginnings on her fifth studio album coming out on Tuesday, October 25. Stronger takes Clarkson back to the pop-rock roots she's known for, but it also shows a smart stubbornness: Every song doesn't have the radio in mind.
The album follows a distinct story line, beginning with being defiant and bitter, later transgressing into learning how to forgive and comforting others with songs like "Mr. Know It All" and the sunny, no-holds-barred "I Forgive You." Clarkson doesn't take the backseat vocally by resting on her catchy choruses: She clenches the hard-to-reach notes with force and control.
The spotlight is on her vocals, and guitar and instrumental solos are kept at bay, bringing back the idea that true talent trumps auto tune. Thankfully, there isn't a glimmer of that on the 13-track album. "Dark Side" shows Clarkson's vulnerability. Speaking of dark side, Clarkson brings her trademark cynicism to life with sultry words and a rewarding hook in "Let Me Down," a slap in the face track that's the best on the album. If this isn't a single, something isn't right in the industry.
Her usual sprinkling of ballads falls short on Stronger, with the final track "Breaking Your Own Heart" the only one. Clarkson hinted that there's a small dose of country on the record, and well, this track is all you're gonna get. It's reminiscent of fellow Idol winner Carrie Underwood, who blurs the line between country and pop. "Breaking Your Own Heart" is an encouraging yet tragic song that sends the listener off with a satisfying aftertaste.
If you're looking for a revolutionary album that turns its back on the record label and all things safe, this isn't it. It is a gratifying set of songs for the bubbly pop admirer wanting more than just cookie-cutter singles. Every track sends its own message of independence, hurt, and inner strength -- reminders we all can benefit from.
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