A melodious pick-me-up

YP cadet Ashlee Barnes
YP cadet Ashlee Barnes |

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Kelly Clarkson's powerful voice propelled her to international stardom after winning American Idol in 2002. The Texan star has 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, is reflective of 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, which shows off her commanding voice.

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 a collaboration with Jason Aldean in Don't You Wanna Stay, which really should be the opener of the album.

A message of self- empowerment permeates Stronger. That is hardly a novel theme for a female artist. Luckily, however, Clarkson's strong voice makes up for a lack of originality.

Stronger is definitely an album for all those who are in need of a melodious pick-me-up.

YP Rating: 3/5