22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 16 July 2007
I have listened to My December just the once, and already I'm not quite sure why people have savaged it so much. I guess the US market is much more genre driven than the UK and people switching direction isn't usually welcomed.
Kelly Clarkson has grown up and is obviously tired of singing the syrupy ballads her record company advised her to when she had won American Idol. This is a much more mature album than Breakaway (which was a stunning album, if not a little over-produced), this is a much more raw album, with confessional lyrics and her vocals not so overstretched. A lot of this reminds me of Pink, who seems to be able to get away with being feisty as that was the image she set out with in the beginning.
I think Clarkson will find a bigger fanbase in the UK, as we are more willing to accept people taking a change in direction.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 4 July 2007
Yes ladies and gents, the reigning Queen of pop/rock is back, and Ms Clarkson has returned with a stomping album. Admittedly, "My December" takes a while to warm up. It is not the sort of album that hits you square in the face and screams 'YES!'. However, after a couple of listens, the quality behind Kelly's third album becomes apparant. I do not own her first album, but her second, 'Breakaway' was a brilliant and fun record and what I would call generally an easy listen. 'My December' is not so kind, but that is not a bad thing. As brilliant as 'Breakaway' was and still is, there is a certain rawness and maturity to Kelly's new album that lacked in her former work.
The first single, 'Never Again' is bitter yet dazzling - a real corker, and in my opinion one of her best tunes to date. Further highlights include the emotional and brilliant 'Sober', the slightly more up-beat 'Don't Waste Your Time', the laid back "Be Still", the simply awesome 'Maybe' and the fun 'How I Feel', which is definitely the most Breakaway-like song on the album.
Kelly has been criticised for perhaps being 'one-dimensional' in her writing and sound. Although many of her songs do seem to allude to break-ups and ex's, the album and Kelly herself are far from 'one-dimensional'.
'Haunted' is apparently about someone that commited suicide and the beautiful 'Irvine' appears to have religious undertones. I feel these songs bring a variety to 'My December'. There are also some more light-hearted tracks such as 'Yeah' and 'Can I Have A Kiss?'.
Overall, 'My December' is a brilliant and mature return from the Queen of pop/rock, containing a diversity that's new to her work. Kelly sings with a certain honesty and emotion that seems to be absent in many of todays artists.
Personally, I'd advise you to give 'My December' a chance. Be patient because it will grow, and it will be brilliant.
Rock on Kelly!
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 16 July 2007
i think some people here are being a bit too harsh as far as this album is concerned. i don't know what people expect from a pop album. i expect to be entertained and listen to songs that are enjoyable and memorable. as far as those two things are concerned i'm pleased :)it seems to be a bit of a love it or hate it album but i don't think that's such a bad thing.
kelly has a fantastic voice and the songs are beautiful and nicely written. i would have liked a few songs that talked about more upbeat topics but i respect kelly for sticking to how she feels at the moment and talking about it in her songs.
Nobody feels happy all the time and i respect songwriters (kelly did co-write all the songs in this cd) who show us their true feelings in an album. next album might be more upbeat or not but that's not up to me to decide or even judge. some reviewers seems too eager to throw stones but i think people deserve a break and freedom to express themselves.
i say buy it, let it grow on you and keep supporting kelly. she's a true superstar :)
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 6 July 2007
As you have probably gathered a good many KC fans are a bit bemused on first listen to this cd, I would also put myself in this group, I think this is where the problem with the media critics comes from, by definition they don't give new music a chance to grow before giving their (professional?) opinion,
this is an album that you need to listen to a few times to 'get it' so to speak, I would have given this album 3 to 4 stars on first listen, not because it is in any way inferior to other current music, but because "Breakaway" was such a stupendously crackingly amazing brilliant album and a huge act to follow up on
I have to say though after a few listens to My December, I absolutely Love it, and don't hesitate to give it a full 5 stars, this is a seriously great album.
if you are a Kelly fan and you are wondering if she has fallen short with My December then ignore the rather pathetic music press and grab a copy as soon as possible, you will love it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 2007
I've always been a strong kelly clarkson fan since early 2005 and this album brings no disappointment. So without any further ado, lets begin :
1) Never Again : Very good start. Definitely has that breakaway twang. Good way to say goodbye to the kelly we saw in 2004. Quite a powerful song with some serious attitude. Don't mess with Kelly.
2) One Minute : A very upbeat single that could do well on the radio. Sorta says "everything can change and I keep falling down" Good song. Though the start "running on empty" just wasn't good for the Daytona 500 =P
3) Hole : Even though this song could suffer from some crude sex jokes it's got quite a sad meaning. Very, you hurt me and look what you left behind. A broken girl with no heart.
4) Sober : One of the highlight's of the album. Musically, it's spectacular. Lyrically, it's quite a "I want to move on and take a chance" a theme the next song will continue. Also continues a theme from Breakway - addicted.
5) Don't waste your time : Wonderful. A song for anyone who just can't move on because the world just won't let you forget your past. I think anyone and everyone can relate to this song.
6) Judas : A very strange feel to it. Very biblical as well. It's got quite a fast tempo to it which should do well on the radio's as well. Though the repetitive nature of the song can become quite annoying at times.
7) Haunted : Next highlight of the album. Brilliant. So wonderfully written. The piano section you can hear at the start gives it a very melancholy feel and also quite a depressing rhythm to an already sad song.
8) Be Still : Not very much a favourite of mine, infact, i just can't get into this song. But I can stil tell it would appeal to people who appreciate songs like this.
9) Maybe : Final highlight of the album. Actually, amazing. This song is just written by the imperfect girl who wants a man who wants a perfect barbie. So sad yet determined.
10) How I Feel : Very well set to become a single. With it's bitchy and self loathing touch it could produce a great following.
11) Yeah : Not listened to this one much but the part "sexy smile" just stands out as being forced in there. Not sure how I feel about this one.
12) Can I Have A Kiss : Sounds like it's a happy song but it's actually about a relationship that can never be and therefore asking for, just a kiss.
13) Irvine : Not really been in a ballad mood recently so this and Chivas haven't been listened to much. Sounds awfully sad and good.
14) Chivas : As above. Though this sounds more jokey than sad.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 3 July 2007
Another excellent offering form the very rare rose among the thorns talents found on reality pop dribble competitions. There can be only one idol. Accept no imitations. Not as emotionally intense as breakaway but still Kelly remains at the top of her game. Buy this album quickly!
on 4 March 2012
I felt so sorry for Kelly not for just when and after she released My December but before, there was all the crap with Clive Davis and how he thought Kelly needed to change not some of the songs but all of the songs on the album and start fresh and also push the release date back to give her time to do that but Kelly, and i respect her for this, stood her ground and said balls to that.
After the release of My December Kelly planned to go on the My December Tour but it got cancelled when she failed to sell out Arena's on that tour but luckily it was then brought back with dates being played in Halls and Theaters but i still felt sorry for Kelly there is nothing worse for an artist then having a tour cancelled because of low ticket sales, maybe that is second worse behind having your album release date pushed back so much that people forget who you are or other artist have come out and you're just one of then been and gone people.
And it didn't end there My December is Kelly's least successful album she has released (i think) it has only been certified in 3 countries whereas her other albums have been certified in many countries.
Back to reviewing the songs on the album, Kelly co-wrote all of the songs on the album and co-produced them all so i give her credit for that.
I agree that some songs aren't radio friendly, oh well, but when i say radio friendly i don't mean vulgar and overtly sexual.
I recommend this album, it might not be as good as Breakaway but it is still good and it is an album, along with all Kelly's others, that are on replay with all the other Kelly Clarkson albums.
Never Again 11/10
One Minute 10/10
Don't Waste Your Time 9/10
Be Still 9/10
How I Feel 10/10
Can I Have A Kiss 9/10
Irvine 11/10 - Kelly said this is her most personal and hardest song she has ever wrote and sung and i can understand why but i think it is beautiful, well written, well sung, just perfect.
Chivas 10/10 - This is a hidden track that is in with Irvine it starts at 5:08
How I Feel
on 21 December 2011
Having loved the pop/rock of Since U Been Gone and Behind these Hazel Eyes from Kelly's previous album, I bought this on the strength of hearing Never Again as it seemed she had continued to 'rock out' and was continuing to move away from the syrupy ballads and R&B lite of her first album. Throughout this album, the songs are guitar led and Kelly belts out the lyrics with conviction (highlights for me include Never Again, Hole, Judas and Haunted) - it sounds like a proper pop/rock album not just a pop artist dabbling in rock to pick up extra sales because rock happens to be fashionable this week. And when the vibe is more mellow, like on the beautiful track Sober for instance, the overall impression continues to be one of an artist singing songs that are meaningful to them both musically and lyrically. I'm saddened that I can absolutely understand why this album is seen as Kelly's weakest album by many fans and critics. It's a sad indictment of modern pop and rock that Kelly's refusal to churn out the aforementioned syrupy ballads and catchy R&B lite on demand is viewed negatively and seen as commercial suicide. The generally negative reception to this album also means that she's unlikely to try anything like it again so I will treasure it.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 25 June 2007
If you are expecting an album of polished Swedish hitfactory pop (Since U Been Gone and Behind These Hazel Eyes) you will probably be disappointed by My December, for the only well-known songwriters that appear on the record appear on the second track, One Minute (Kara DioGuardi, Chantal Kreviazuk & Raine Maida); the rest has been written solely by Kelly and padded out by members of her band, with two songs featuring additional instrumentation from DeadMono.
David Kahne (Tony Bennett, Paul McCartney, KD Lang, Stevie Nicks, and most recently, Regina Spektor) is behind the wheel as producer on the entire album, and has captured an organic, raw, live sound, far removed from the pre-programmed drum machines and glossy guitar samples that are scattered across Breakaway, and Thankful. His presence on the entire album also gives it coherence as an album, a solid story from beginning to end, and not a collection of songs written and produced by 5 or 6 different production teams.
Never Again opens the record, with its fierce guitar lick, angry, bitter, resolved lyrics, before moving onto One Minute, the most commercial-sounding track on the record. The garage rock of Hole comes next, being more about the song itself and less about the lyrics (as there are so few in the song anyway!). Sober is an album highlight and the defiant next single, a chorus-less epic, which builds gradually into a crescendo, built around the line, "three months and I'm still sober" - sober in terms of being clean and free of an addictive relationship. The soft-rock Don't Waste Your Time is also fairly radio-friendly, opening with a chanted, "it's over, it's over, it's over." Judas is another album highlight and should be contender for third or fourth single; Clarkson is a woman betrayed (hence the Biblical reference of the song's title) and sings her heart out over a pulsating rock track, and, what sounds like, an electronic synth.
Haunted, with different production, could probably have fitted onto "Breakaway," sounding similar to Addicted from that record. Dark and Evanescence-esque, the song is about someone who committed suicide. The sublime Be Still follows, sounding unlike anything else on the record, creating a moment of serenity. My personal favourite on the record, Maybe, follows, again with no chorus, and building from an acoustic guitar, adding a drum beat, and then breaking out into a full band, before breaking it back down to the guitar. Clarkson sounds most heartfelt on this song, and it stands out. How I Feel is another fairly radio-friendly track, with a pop-punk edge, and will probably be a single. Yeah features a saxophone and is Prince-esque, featuring seductive temptress Kelly - "yeah, let me know, yeah, it's all for you!" It's followed by Can I Have A Kiss, which seems to tell two sides of the same story, against a semi-acoustic soft-rock backing.
The album closers, Irvine and Chivas, show off a completely different side to Kelly than seen ever before. Irvine is a prayer, with Kelly singing in a gentle high register, addressing God, and is the saddest song she has ever released. "Why can't you just take me? I don't have much to go before I fade completely" is one particularly low moment in the song, which is another contender for the best song on the album; certainly the most unusual. Chivas closes the album on a high - Kelly sounds somewhat inebriated as she sings a song to her tipple of choice. The track is bluesy and acoustic, and features the line, "it's hard not to look I know, I'm amazazing, I love you, Chivas."
Overall, the album is very accomplished; the sound of a woman who is far more than a reality TV show puppet, a good voice, or indeed, a run-of-the-mill pop star.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 20 June 2007
If I am being really honest, the first time I heard "Never Again", I was filled with disappointment, as, comparing it to the sheer genius of hits like "Since U Been Gone" and "Behind These Hazel Eyes" from Breakaway, it really didn't seem to live up to Clarkson's previous standard. However, after another listen or two, the song immensely grew on me, and now, while still not my favourite track from "My December", it certainly brings a smile to my face and makes me immediately want to sing along when I hear it. However, after hearing the rest of "My December", I have yet again been mesmorised by the wonderful, meaningful music that is so different, but so much superior, to anything that Kelly has ever released previously.
1. Never Again - a fun, bitter track, perfect for rocking out. It makes you just want to sing along, and is pure pop/rock magic. Its a real shame that it didn't do better in the charts. 8/10
2. One Minute - there has been mixed feelings on this song, but I personally love it. From the opening note, it's fun and funky, sounding like nothing we've ever heard before. Again, it's something totally different for Kelly, but in my opinion, it works. 9/10
3. Hole - this song hasn't really grown on me yet, but that could be because I've focused on listening to the tracks that I've fallen in love with. "Hole" is another fun track with a rocky melod, and could probably be compared to some of the tracks seen on "Breakaway". 7/10
4. Sober - pure perfection. Really, this song is just flawless. It captivates you, and pulls you in as the song builds up to the final chorus. Sung with true emotion and passion, this song is genius. Amazing. 10/10
5. Don't Waste Your Time - I really really like this song. Even though it is not a typical "deep" song, it is full of emotion despite being quite upbeat. A really enjoyable song to listen, and one that everyone can probably relate to. 8/10
6. Judas - again, took a while for it to grow on me, but now I can't get enough of it. Well worth a listen. 8/10
7. Haunted - wow! The title of this song says it all - it's haunting. Another classic Kelly song, unlike any other. 10/10
8. Be Still - so different to anything on either "Thankful" or "Breakaway" but I love it! Great, relaxing, r&b style song. Perfect vocals yet again. 9/10
9. Maybe - liked it live, love it even more now. A real grower, it might take a while to get used to, but once you are, it's amazing. 7/10
10. How I Feel - Haven't really listened to this song much to be honest. For me, it dosen't really stand out - it is a good, enjoyable listen, but is paled in comparison to some of the other amazing songs on this record. 6/10
11. Yeah - I adore this song! A mix of every different genre of music, it's a classic! Perfectly shows off Kelly's vocal ability - a really fun song. 9/10
12. Can I Have A Kiss - beautiful, country-style song. Really nice, tender lyrics and yet again, perfect vocals. Well worth a listen 9/10
13. Irvine - Wow. This song, along with Sober, gave me chills when I first heard it. Kelly shows such raw emotion in this track, written after her show in Irvine, and the result of it is just pure brilliance. I love love love this song. 10/10
14. Chivas - one of the best tracks on the CD, without a doubt. Such a funny, original and clever song, "Chivas" just makes me laugh from beginning to end. Kelly sounds amazing as usual, and her voice is again flawless. 10/10