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Guest Review: Kelly Clarkson "All I Ever Wanted"

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ArjanWrites.com reader Will W. had a chance to preview Kelly Clarkson's much-anticipated new album "All I Ever Wanted" and wrote up a glowing review. Read it after the jump. (Thanks for sharing, Will!)

“I've sold more than 15 million records worldwide, and still nobody listens to what I have to say. I couldn't give a crap about being a star. I've always just wanted to sing and write.” (Kelly Clarkson, 2007).

After going from the massive success of “Breakaway” to breakdown in her 2007 effort “My December”, Kelly Clarkson’s creative feud with her label RCA Records’ former Chairman Clive Davis mid 2007, is well-documented.  The label wanted to duplicate previous Clarkson hits, while Clarkson herself wanted full creative control over her work.  The feud finally came to an end with Clarkson having issued the following statement on her website: “I really regret how this has turned out and I apologize to those whom I have done disservice.”  Clearly, she does really care about being a star after all.

Clarkson cancelled her “My December Tour” and took a brief hiatus and got herself into a better place mentally after a deeply-affecting break-up.  She is once again in fighting form to reclaim her title as America’s new Queen of Pop-Rock, although we’re sure both P!nk and Katy Perry might have something different to say about the matter.  Current single “My Life Would Suck Without You” holds the distinction of making the largest jump ever to #1 in Billboard Hot 100 Chart history, selling a blistering 815,000 digital copies to-date.  If this doesn’t qualify as a victorious comeback, we don’t know what does.

“All I Ever Wanted” is Clarkson’s fourth studio album and it delivers; maybe even exceeding expectations.  The album hits hard with a six-fold smackdown beginning with her latest #1 hit, followed by rumoured second single “I Do Not Hook Up”, penned by Katy Perry and new American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi.  The track recalls Heart at their prime, but with current sensibilities.  “Cry” and “Already Gone” are beautiful power-ballads with country leanings, a similar recipe shared by Avril Lavigne.  What makes Clarkson stand out however, is that she executes these self-composed tracks (two out of six featured on the album) with a level of vocal mastery that reminds us once again why it is that America made Clarkson their first American Idol.  “Don’t Let Me Stop You” is the new P!nk track that we really wanted to hear off her new album, versus current single “Sober”.  Coincidentally, P!nk’s track shares the same title as Clarkson’s misfired second “My December” single.  A tip to aspiring pop songwriters around the world: do not name your next song “Sober”.  It has been done before.

Other highlights include Arjan’s personal favourite “Save You”, boasting its Mozart-inspired bridge and also a second Katy Perry contribution, “Long Shot”. The collection’s ultimate shining moment comes from “Whyyouwannabringmedown”, where Clarkson delivers some serious fierceness.  This banger of a track is one of two covers from obscure band Aranda; the other cover being the album’s title track.  It appears Clarkson is now giving a bit of leeway in terms of accepting “hand-me-downs” from other artists.  Some of us may recall her very public outcry against being told by her label to re-record a Lindsay Lohan track.  

In all, “All I Ever Wanted” is pure pop gold, striking a fine win-win balance.  RCA Records succeeds in getting an album chock-full of summertime hits and yes, foreseeable GRAMMY nominations.  Kelly Clarkson wins creatively in showcasing herself as a bona fide songwriter.  More importantly though, the public wins in getting back all the same “Kelly Clarkson” it ever wanted.

(Make sure to visit's Will's MySpace page if you have chance.)

February 27, 2009 in Guest Blogger, Kelly Clarkson | Permalink

Comments

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Although I've heard the leaked album, I'm still going to buy it. My friends and I were absolutely blown away at the quality of this album. Kelly is one of those rare artists that could sing anything thrown her way. Fortunately for all of us, they provided all of the best writers and producers to make every (EVERY) single song a massive potential radio hit single. Even with the album leaking, this album will be a HUGE success. Ryan Tedder from One Republic was so right when talking about Kelly and his work with her on this album. "All I Ever Wanted" is like "Breakaway" on steroids!!!

Posted by: jay at Feb 27, 2009 6:56:18 AM

It's a keeper boys and girls. Can't wait for March 10th

Posted by: jesse at Feb 27, 2009 8:47:55 AM

Kelly is a nice girl but she aint the queen of pop rock and she cant reclaim something that wasnt hers to begin with. Katy Perry is a newbie who can't sing to save her life. Her voice sounds almost as strong as Pink in her albums but when it comes to live singing, not so much. All these girl's are just a watered down version of Pink, the first Queen of pop-rock.

Posted by: Nicole at Feb 27, 2009 10:10:19 AM

Thanks Arjan, for posting and thanks guys for sharing your thoughts on this!

Posted by: Will-W. at Feb 27, 2009 2:02:53 PM

Nicole,

Pink is awesome..

but to deny Kelly of being a queen of pop?

kelly is beyond amazing...

Posted by: Chris at Feb 27, 2009 2:03:36 PM

As far as I'm concerned, there's enough room for both P!nk and Kelly Clarkson. I love them both. I thought Funhouse was one of the best albums of 2008 and All I Ever Wanted may be one of the best in 2009.

Will -- great write-up. In addition to the songs you mentioned, I love the song "The Day We Fell Apart." Reminds me of vintage Pat Benatar!!

And yes, I'm going to buy the CD outright too to pay my respect to Ms. Clarkson. She deserves it.

Posted by: Brian at Feb 27, 2009 2:43:41 PM

Great review, Will W! Great perspective, as always. As for the P!nk/Kelly issue, it's pretty well documented that Kelly helped lead Max toward the sound that Kelly and P!nk are both succeeding with, so to trash Kelly as sounding like P!nk is kind of silly. They're both great, and there's definitely room for them both.

Posted by: John at Feb 27, 2009 6:51:49 PM

Totslly agree with this review... I love Kelly Clarkson, and felt that My December never got the label support it deserved. I did get my hands on All I Ever Wanted on the internet and have been listening to it all week... It is GREAT!! It's been a long time since I bought a CD where I actually loved every song - and where my favorite changes with each repeat listen. I had already pre-ordered my copy before downloading it, but after listening, I went back and pre-ordered 3 more copies. I want to give a copy of this amazing CD to my friends... This CD will probably be one of the biggest sellers of 2009, and will likely spawn 4-5 hit singles, and yes, it IS that good!

Posted by: Nidia at Feb 27, 2009 8:20:16 PM

Pink once said "I love Kelly clarkson" and when Kelly was asked who she would like to duet with in the future she said pink so they like way other
My fag singers list #1 Kelly #2 pink if thy didduet it would probably be my favorite song ever

Posted by: Emily at Mar 1, 2009 9:55:16 AM

http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?nzk5nuznynh

Posted by: Kelly Remix at Mar 18, 2009 7:10:43 AM

Sorry to those who liked it. "All I ever wanted" is crap. Not so eloquent but the truth. What hapenned to Kelly? Did Clive Davis get to her? It's like Kelly's been Disney-ized. I'd expect that kind of music from Hannah Montana. Where's the edge? The grittiness? Very poor album....

Posted by: Dan at Mar 21, 2009 5:47:00 PM

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