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Music Review

Kelly Clarkson: 'Stronger' - Album review

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Kelly Clarkson: 'Stronger'
Released on Monday, Oct 24 2011

"This is the first record that my label and I have agreed on everything," Kelly Clarkson recently said about her new album Stronger. While this claim should sound entirely normal for an artist on their fifth outing, it comes with a Texan ranch-sized dollop of resonance for the original American Idol champ following a decade of heated exchanges and artistic differences with her label. So, could this be Kelly's most rebellious offering to date?

Trailer single 'Mr Know It All' proves she still has plenty to say about controlling personalities in the parts of her life that don't involve her investors. "You don't know a thing about me," she asserts over an urban-country mix of fluttering piano and growling guitars; safely sliding back into her anthemic soft-rock sound like a comfy pair of slippers in winter.

'What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)' continues to tread familiar ground, fusing pounding beats with fist-pumping choruses as she belts out a manifesto of independence with her flawless spinto soprano range. Meanwhile, 'Einstein' compounds mathematical equations with lashings of ballsy attitude over a backdrop of revved-up guitars and camp ad-libbing that could easily fill the next Coyote Ugly soundtrack.

Clarkson's hit-back mentality reaches its peak in 'You Can't Win', where she shoots: "If you're straight, why aren't you married yet?/ If you're gay, why don't you wave out a flag?". While it serves as a cool correction of media speculation surrounding her personal life, it's about as defiant as she gets here; leaving us suspecting that the lack of label infighting was because, on this occasion, there was little worth disputing.



Tracks to download: 'Mr Know It All', 'What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)', 'Einstein', 'You Can't Win'
If you like this, you'll like: Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift, Pink

Watch the music video for 'Mr Know It All' below:

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