February 26, 2009

Kelly Clarkson "All I Ever Wanted"

All that most critics ever wanted was for Kelly Clarkson to put out another unapologetically pop album to follow up the somber My December. Well, critics rejoice, because the old K-Clarkson is back on her fourth album All I Ever Wanted.

The new album is a great combination of the radio friendly Breakaway and the more artistically challenging My December. While Breakaway raised Clarkson into the ranks of pop super stardom, December showed that she had the chops to remain there. So, take the chops and put them on a superstar persona and you have All I Ever Wanted.

Although the first single "My Life Would Suck Without You" seemed mostly like a "Since U Been Gone 2.0" it was a great "hey- remember me?" moment for listeners longing for the good ol' Kelly. And as infectious as the song may be, the second single "I Do Not Hook Up" is even better. Written and composed by Katy Perry and new American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi, "I Do Not Hook Up" is the real "Since U Been Gone" 2.0. Fun, fresh and one of those songs that will make you roll down the car windows scream the lyrics, it's like a rockin' anthem for the good girls out there.

The rest of the album is a great mix of rocky ballads and rocky pop, allowing Clarkson to exist in a musical limbo that is mostly unoccupied by other artists. My favorite tracks so far include "Don't Let Me Stop You," "All I Ever Wanted," and the cutesy "I Want You."

Minor criticism for the slightly unoriginal sound of a few of the tracks. While working with the hottest producers will give you the hottest tracks, they often smack of that producer's signature sound. The fantastic song "Already Gone" was produced by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder, who also produced Beyonce's "Halo", which is probably why you can sing either song over the other's music. Also, the punchy pop song "If I Can't Have You" sounds remarkably similar to Miley Cyrus's "Fly On the Wall" in musicality. Both great songs though!

I'll go out on a limb and say that this is probably my favorite Kelly Clarkson album to date. Go get it when it comes out on March 10, 2009.

Here's the track listing for All I Ever Wanted:

  1. My Life Would Suck Without You
  2. I Do Not Hook Up
  3. Cry
  4. Don't Let Me Stop You
  5. All I Ever Wanted
  6. Already Gone
  7. If I Can't Have You
  8. Save You
  9. Whyyouwannabringmedown
  10. Long Shot
  11. Impossible
  12. Ready
  13. I Want You
  14. If No One Will Listen
Have you heard the new album? What do you think?

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