Kelly Clarkson is probably the most commercially successful artist of all the American Idol winners. Since she won the show back in 2002 she's sold millions of albums worldwide, her most successful album being "Breakaway" released in 2004.
Fast forward to 2011 then, and we have "Stronger," this her fifth studio album. It follows in a similar vein to its predecessor - uptempo, modern pop rock with big sing along choruses.
Lead single "Mr Know It All" is an excellent choice as lead single, before some electronic sounding influences show face on tracks "What Dosen't Kill You (Stronger)," and "Dark Side." The latter has a weak chorus, surprising this is the third song on the album. "You Love Me" and "Einstein" quickly recover matters though, "Einstein" is short at just under three minutes but is very catchy and could be a single.
Elsewhere the tone and tempo finally drops for the albums first ballad "Standing In Front of You," closely followed by fast and frenetic tracks in "I Forgive You" and "Hello."
Without question though the most emotional and moving song Kelly has done for some time is the albums closing number "Breaking Your Own Heart." I'd release this as a single tomorrow if it was my choice, a quite superb song with poignant lyrics - a real tear jerker if your circumstances fit as such.
If you've brought the deluxe edition you get four bonus tracks, the best of which is the country themed duet with Jason Aldean "Don't You Wanna Stay." Kelly has gone genre hopping before on her albums, (see the alternative rock record My December) and after flirting again her voice could easily suit an album of country songs, maybe we might see more of that on her sixth record.
For now "Stronger" is an impressive collection of pop rock, ideally suited to the mainstream musical audience. I expect it to sell very well, even though it's perhaps not as good as "Breakaway" or "All I Ever Wanted." Make sure you pick up the deluxe version as already mentioned; the bonus tracks are worth your while.
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