Monday, October 24, 2011


Kelly Clarkson's latest Disc isn't a bad Album per say, but it sure isn't remarkable and anything short of great is an injustice to a Vocalist of her caliber. The former American Idol Winner's fifth Disc Stronger finally surfaces after several administrative delays and what we get here are a collection of 13 tracks marked by only a few standouts. Unfortunately none here can be mentioned in the same breath as the fantastic My Life Would Suck Without You nor Since U Been Gone.  What we get here mostly are mid-tempo Pop/Rock offerings pondering themes of Heartbreak, Let-Down and Self-Empowerment.

Defiant first Single Mr. Know it All serves as a warm-up to the Disc's throbbing centerpiece, What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger), touted as the forthcoming second Single from Super-Producer Greg Kurstin (Lily Allen, Selena Gomez)Dark Side, another Kurstin contribution, has the Texan Powerhouse asking, "Everybody's got a Dark Side/Can you love me?/Can you love mine?", providing for one of the Album's more vulnerable moments.  And that's a good thing.

Aside from these tracks, Chris DeStefano-produced Let Me Down - one of the first tracks to leak from Stronger - remains another highlight being positioned late in the sequence.  R&B Producer Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins even lends a hand, trying his hand at Pop-Rock on I Forgive You and the results are satisfactory. You Can't Win has Clarkson confronting her Rumour-Mongers, asking "If you're straight/Why aren't you married yet?/If you're Gay/Why aren't you waving a flag?". No, she's not a Lesbian for once and for all. Admittedly, the confrontational side of Clarkson does become a bit grating in repeat doses, so any breaks from that gear are welcome.

Despite being the lone co-written Track on the Disc, fare like You Love Me along with numbers like  Honestly, Einstein and Standing in Front of You never really take flight nor do they leave much of a lasting impression as a Listener.

Unfortunately, those who purchase the Standard Edition of Stronger, don't get the solid Jason Aldean Duet Don't You Wanna Stay, which just might be a deciding factor for Fans pondering a purchase of the Album at all.  Sony Music Canada releases Kelly Clarkson's Stronger on October 24, 2011.  Order it on iTunes here.