Newest Review: ... a slightly abrasive and noisy pop-rock triumph. Without a doubt, one of the best of her career. The theme is continued on 'Judas', which i... more
Things Certainly Get Decemberish Here!
My December - Kelly Clarkson
Member Name: GramiWay
My December - Kelly Clarkson
Advantages: Very strong lyrics and vocals, consistant music wise
Disadvantages: Not a lot of mainstream material, few dull moments
Writing the follow up to such a huge record, is always difficult and most artists tend to fail though Kelly Clarkson decided to build on the foundations already laid down on 'Breakaway' and produce something that was more what she wanted. The result is her third studio album released back in the summer of 2007 - 'My December'.
Clarkson is notorious for using gritty guitar rifts and overdramatic lyrics and vocals in her song surrounded by storming beats and infectious melodies. There's definitely a twinge of Alanis Morrisette when listening to 'My December' and opening track 'Never Again' is just a storm of pure venom from start to finish. The track is poisonous with eerie harmonies and Clarkson's vocals oozing with rage. She has the ability to convey her emotions through her singing and 'Never Again' showcases this fantastically. It's a rather morbid start to a record that is only going to get darker.
There's still faint traces of her old mainstream style on the record though these don't have the same impact as 'Since U Been Gone' for instance. 'One Word' is a very bouncy record but it feels like the vocals are all over the place and don't really fit with the melody. The song tries too hard to be cheerful and Clarkson doesn't really capture that in her singing. On the other hand, 'Don't Waste Your Time', is a simple, run of the mill, radio friendly pop tune that has a great middle eight and a very effective chorus. It seems out of place with most of the moody endeavours on 'My December' but is a wonderful track in its own right with very deep and throught provoking lyrics.
Clarkson has co-written all of the tracks on the album and lyrically she has also progressed massively. Gone are the child-like, rhyme fueled words that paved 'Breakaway' and replacing them is maturity and pain. 'Sober' is a gorgeous piano led number that highlights the vulnerability and emotion in her face. The melody churns away in the background becoming larger and larger until it just explodes. It's a wonderful piece of music that is a credit to Clarkson's talent. Lyrically and musically it is my favourite song on the album and was a very refreshing antidote to the noisy and messy arrangment that plagued previous track 'Hole'.
Getting fruity with the biblical references 'Judas' is an effective and pulsing piece of music that has a rather upbeat sound to it even though it's driven by Clarkson's latest bout of angst and hurt. She knows how to make a song as melodramatic and as deep as she possibly can. Happy puppies don't sell - pain is where it's at and Clarkson is on fine form when she's venting her issues.
Despite the similar vibe throughout much of the record, each track has its own distinct feel which is very refreshing. 'Haunted' sounds like a middle of the road Evanescence clone, complete with screeching vocals in the chorus and gothic and moody undertones that tiwl their way around the melody and unleash the dark beats of the song. In contrast 'Maybe' is a rather dull, acoustic number and is one of the album's poorer moments. Clarkson wears her heart on her sleeve with the track but it's just not felt as much as previous offerings on the album.
Final track 'Irvine' is a much better example of an acoustic led track. The lyrics blend perfectly with Clarkson's voice. The emotion oozing from her vocals is just spot on and whilst musically the track isn't up to much, it's just a further testament to the huge journey she has traveled since the release of 'Breakaway'.
'My December' is a credit to Kelly Clarkson's talent as her voice is just brilliant on every track here. There a lot of duds and if mainstream music is your thing, you will find yourself alienated here. Clarkson has evolved her already exisisting sound to create something stronger and more concreate and it not only exposes her vulnerability but also shows her progression as an artist and the ability to move outside of the box that made her so huge. 'My December' is definitely a career gamble though it works very well in my opinion. It's a record of confliction and mixed opinions, of amazing choices and some extremely awful ones. Until you listen to yourself you're not going to be able to decide whether or not this is the record for you. I reccomend searching for the album on iTunes and listening to the clips if you're still left unsure after reading this review.
01 - Never Again
02 - One Minute
03 - Hole
04 - Sober
05 - Don't Waste Your Time
06 - Judas
07 - Haunted
08 - Be Still
09 - Maybe
10 - How I Feel
11 - Yeah
12 - Can I Have A Kiss
13 - Irvine
Summary: The third studio album from Kelly Clarkson