Stronger (CD) Kelly Clarkson
YP cadet Ashlee Barnes
Kelly Clarkson's powerful voice propelled her to international stardom after winning American Idol in 2002.
The Texas-born star has now released her fifth studio album, Stronger, and the title says it all. Clarkson breaks out of her shell and tells the world exactly how she feels. Over the years she's grown wiser and stronger.
The opener, Mr Know It All, reflects her desire for more independence while breaking free from an overbearing partner. She sticks to her country roots even as she lends a pop-rock feel to the song.
After the first two up-tempo party songs, the album's mood drops off a bit with Dark Side and Honestly.
Classic Kelly reappears in I Forgive You, a song where she tries to recreate her heart-wrenching hit Since U Been Gone. But it seems to come up only as second best.
Clarkson flaunts her true country origins in Don't You Wanna Stay, which features Jason Aldean, and should have been the album's opener.
A message of self-empowerment permeates Stronger. It's hardly a novel theme for a female artist, but Clarkson's strong voice makes up for a lack of originality. Stronger is an album for all those who need a melodious pick-me-up.