Album Review: Kelly Clarkson- Stronger
by Adam Devlin
Either Kelly Clarkson is forever having her heart broken or she’s inspired by broken hearts. Turns out she’s inspired by broken hearts. And that is quite clear upon listening to her new album expressly entitled Stronger, an album that she says is “very much about strength and empowerment” which makes Stronger “the perfect title.” The multi-platinum singer and songwriter has secured herself millions of devoted fans for her feisty, straightforward and sincere lyrics. Her bold empowered back catalog includes the hit singles “Ms. Independent”, “Since U Been Gone”, “Walk Away” and the new lead single off her new album “Mr. Know It All”, which showcase Clarkson’s soulful, powerhouse voice and down-to-earth attitude that is relatable to her audience.
If you don’t know by now, Kelly Clarkson first appeared on the music scene in 2002 when she won the first season of American Idol. She then went on to become an international pop icon, selling over 20 million albums worldwide and earning seven Top 10 singles. She has released four studio albums, 2003’s double platinum US No. 1 Thankful, 2004’s 6x-platinum Breakaway (which sold over 12 million copies worldwide, spawned five Top 10 hits, and stayed on the charts for two years), 2007’s platinum-selling My December, and 2009’s All I Ever Wanted, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 and produced the smash singles “My Life Would Suck Without You” and “Already Gone.” Clarkson has also received two Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, two MTV Music Awards, and 11 Billboard Music Awards. So yeah, it could be said she’s done quite well for herself thus far.
With the release of the new album Stronger, we’re introduced to a fresh, vibrant and diverse side of Clarkson as the album is overfilled with emotionally raw tunes like “Dark Side’, “Honestly” and “You Love Me”, as well as the title track, “Einstein” and “You Can’t Win” which are the fierce and gusty anthems that Clarkson is known for. Clarkson co-wrote five tracks on Stronger; a process she feels is therapeutic. The remainder of the songs was written by a host of A-list hit-makers, including Rodney Jerkins, Ester Dean, Bonnie McKee, and Toby Gad. Clarkson also credits her producers, Jerkins, Greg Kurstin, Abraham, and Gad, for the creation of work that she describes as a gold mine: “it’s a little bit pop, a little bit pop-rock, a little bit urban, a little bit dance, and it ties everything in.”
Overall, the album shows the many sides of Kelly Clarkson, the strong and independent and the sincere and vulnerable. Clarkson says the album was influenced by Tina Turner, Prince, Sheryl Crow, and Radiohead, so the album draws inspiration from a diverse mix of genres, and upon listening, you can hear the mixture of pop, pop-rock, country, soul, alternative and indie. The album will definitely thrill those who have loved Clarkson’s previous work and for those interested in discovering the music of Ms. Kelly Clarkson, now would be the ideal time as Stronger is the best work she’s produced in a long time.