Friday, November 4, 2011

Miss Independent Part Deux

People like to say that Kelly Clarkson has come a long way from her "American Idol" days. But the truth is, she's always been an amazing vocalist, but it is just with her last two albums that she's finally figured out the types of songs where she can truly shine. On her album, "Stronger," which premiered last month, Clarkson produces 13 tracks that showcase her ballsy, confident (sometimes vulnerable) emotions backed by an insanely wide range and funny, yet touching lyrics.

The first single, "Mr. Know It All," is a classic take on Clarkson's attitude--along with "You Can't Win" and "What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)," the songs deal with how the singer faces her many critics. Clarkson could be talking to music reviewers, to bloggers, to doesn't matter because anyone can relate to someone underestimating their strength.

The reason Clarkson is still popular more than a decade after her debut into pop stardom is her girl-next-door persona. Of course she's a supremely talented neighbor, but she gives off a realness often lacking from other girl singers. The new trend is for gorgeous, glamorous girls to sing about knowing what it's like to be put down: a la Katy Perry's "Fireworks" and Selena Gomez's "Who Says." While these songs are inspirational, they're kind of hard to believe coming from pop princesses. On the other hand, although Clarkson is beautiful, she's not over-manufactured. You can actually believe she's dealt with some bullying in her life.

The album is filled with catchy tunes with choruses that stick in your head (in a not-annoying way!) so it's easy to see that Clarkson will be around for a long time to come. And if anyone doubts that, she'll write a song about how wrong they are to judge.

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