Jacob Reviews….Stronger by Kelly Clarkson

Another big release this week was Stronger, the fifth studio album, by the original American Idol Kelly Clarkson.    Clarkson has become Stronger as a singer since 2009’s All I Ever Wanted and this album proves it.

As usual I have provided five key tracks that the listener should invest time listening to while working through the album.   These key tracks also help with the overall grade that I give at the end of an album review.

Mr. Know It All

Every time some music listeners heard that name it might remind them of watching an old rerun of Rocky and Bullwinkle because the latter title character’s scheming alter ego.  Now when they hear “Mr. Know It All,” listeners will now think of Kelly Clarkson’s first single and track on her new album.  This song perfectly fuses pop, R&B and rock.  The lyrics are catchy and Clarkson’s vocals are crisp and clear.

Bottom Line and Grade: If guys (including this author) want to date Clarkson-this song’s message is crystal clear-get to know her.  5/5 A+

What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)

The title track is a strong dance pop song.  The lyrics are awesome due to the writing team of Jorgen Elofsson (who wrote for Britney, Celine and Jennifer L), Ali Tamposi, David Gamson (who worked with Chaka Khan and Adam Lambert) and Grammy-nominated producer Greg Kurstin.   This song is perfect for people who got burned in a relationship or in life in general.

Bottom Line and Grade: A terrific up-lifting dance song. 5/5 A+

You Love Me

In the same vain as “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger),” “You Love Me” is about a miscommunication between Clarkson and a potential suitor.  It tells about both perspectives.  Add some pop rock music in the background and it produces a successful formula for Clarkson.  In addition, this song has a familiar bass line that might have been used in “Since You Been Gone.”

Bottom Line and Grade: This song is a perfect example about misconceptions in relationships.  4.5/5 A-

Don’t You Wanna Stay (Duet with Jason Aldean)

If listeners buy the deluxe version of Stronger, they will be able to listen to “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” Clarkson’s duet with country rising star Jason Aldean.   This is a wonderful country rock duet, which is on the same level of Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettles’ version of “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” from the Jersey-based rock band’s 2005 album Have A Nice Day.   Both Clarkson and Aldean shine and this could be this generation’s version of “We Got Tonight.”

Bottom Line and Grade: One of the 2011’s Best Country Duets. 5/5 A+

Let Me Down

“Let Me Down” is one of the most interesting songs on this album.  The track starts out as with an R&B groove but it slowly turns into a pop rock anthem.  This song also highlights Clarkson’s songwriting abilities and “Let Me Down” is one of Clarkson’s co-written songs to date.   Finally, Clarkson’s vocals are impressive on this track especially if you listen towards the high notes near the end of this song.

Bottom Line and Grade: Clarkson hits another home run with this song. 5/5 A+

Final Thoughts and Overall Grade: Stronger is Clarkson’s best album to date.  From her powerhouse vocals to her impressive songwriting ability, Clarkson continues to be one of American Idol’s brightest stars and incredible winners.   After listening to Stronger, this author has a feeling that Clarkson’s fans are ready to welcome her to their towns.   24.5/25 A


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