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Stronger

Kelly Clarkson: Stronger

  • Kelly Clarkson
  • Pop
  • Out now
  • RCA
  • Everywhere
reviewed by
Salma Tantawi
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Kelly Clarkson: Stronger

For the
past four albums, Kelly Clarkson has gained a reputation for her strong, assertive
songs that colour her work with a tongue-in-cheek confidence, including hits
like ‘Since You Been Gone’ and ‘Don’t Waste Your Time’. She takes speaking her
mind to a whole new level with her new album, Stronger.

Clarkson’s
latest release has seen her gradually leaving the ballads that have dominated
her last few years.
She doesn’t
waste time either; starting her new thirteen-song record with the single ‘Mr.
Know It All’; an assertive song, both lyrically and instrumentally, about the
dangers of judging a book by its cover. Then she’s back in her comfort zone in ‘What
Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)’; a track that could readily be a dance floor
filler with its steady dance beat and vocally dramatic chorus.  It’s an arrangement and sound that works well
for her sweeping vocals throughout the album.

From the
first listen, it seems that Clarkson’s overbearing ‘girl-power’ is either
punishing someone or a self-confidence boost, making Stronger
come off somewhat too strong, and even overwhelming at times.
Stronger may induce a feeling of déjà vu with those
who have followed her since she won the first American Idol in 2002, but it is
much more energetic and dynamic version of classic American pop.

The album
takes a break after ‘Einstein’ where mathematic innuendoes result in the
formula ‘Dumb plus dumb equals you’, to the softer optimistic
‘Standing In Front of You’ before she takes a jab at the judgmental nature of society
in ‘You Can’t Win’ with clever lyrics against a pop-rock jam.

Though there
isn’t anything new offered on this album, Clarkson’s trademark affirmative and
inoffensive style of pop is all over Stronger. The resemblance between this
album and successful 2004 album Breakaway is obvious and maybe that’s the
key to its inevitable success.
In a time when female pop singers are becoming
increasingly experimental, Clarkson has continued to release pure old-school
pop.

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