‘Idol’ Star Makes Comeback With Smart Beats

Jesse Gutierrez

Kelly Clarkson is back. After her disappointing third album, “My December,” she returns with her new album, “All I Ever Wanted,” which is sure to be a commercial success.

The first single off the album is “My Life Would Suck Without You.” Despite being a near rewrite of her last hit “Since You’ve Been Gone,” it proved to be the perfect first single with its catchy chorus and dance-inspired beat. The song topped the digital download charts moments after it was released.

In some cases, the first single off of an album may be the only hit, but that is not the case with this album. The second track, “I do not hook up,” is about taking a relationship seriously and not “just hooking up” for one night. The song has a vintage Clarkson pop-rock feel, with lyrics that will be stuck in your head well after you listen to the album and a beat that will keep you moving.

As always, Clarkson does not just stick with the fast-paced pop-rock songs. The third track, “Cry,” is a passionate power ballad about going trough a painful break up. This song really shows off Clarkson’s impressive vocal range, as well as her abilities as a composer.

For most pop stars, songwriting is not an important aspect of their careers. Clarkson definitely breaks that mold. Though she did not write all her songs, the songs she wrote really strike a chord on an emotional level, such as passionate ballad, “Already Gone.”

Clarkson made smart choices when picking the people she collaborated with on this album, such as current pop-sensation Katy Perry, super producer Kara DioGuardi and Sam Waters, formerly from the band Color Me Badd.

When the album begins to feel like a typical pop-rock album, it switches up with the punk-inspired song, “Whyyawannabringmedown.” The song sounds like a mash-up of Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me” and Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl.”

The song boasts an impressive mix of a good punk beat with a little of hip-hop flavor. Besides the delightfully upbeat and campy lyrics, Clarkson shows off her awesome vocals, which are very reminiscent of a young Ann Wilson from the band Heart.

Clarkson shows her versatility with the track “If No One Will Listen,” a piano ballad which shines in every aspect: vocally, musically and lyrically. Clarkson sings, “If no one will listen, I will still be here.” which is something many listeners can relate to: knowing someone cares.

“Don’t Let Me Stop You” is a stand-out track about leaving a relationship. Clarkson sings, “If you’re looking over your shoulder, then you don’t need to be with me.. Don’t let me stop you if you wanna leave. Baby, you can leave.” This track should be the next single if the record label is smart.

From one track to another, this album just shines whether you like a nice dance-pop song, a powerful pop-rock tune or even a passionate ballad. Clarkson gives you little bit of everything, making this album a great step-up from “My December.”

Clarkson has proven herself to be the most successful “American Idol” idol winner-turned-artist. She’s a strong force in the pop music genre, and her new album “All I Ever Wanted” reinforces that.

“All I Ever Wanted” is a must-have for any Kelly Clarkson fan or any pop genre lover. Even those who don’t like pop will find themselves singing the lyrics and humming the melodies.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars