Friday, October 21, 2011

this post is imaginary.

This is pretty much a non-post. But, hey, I blogged about reality TV and you still came back. The joke's on you, chump! But seriously, this isn't real at all. It's imaginary and you probably should just come back next week when I have a some hilarious story about drinking, being hungover, yelling at people at the grocery, or when I bake something...

Well, if that little disclaimer or YouTube video didn't drive you away, you're a lot more bored than most days you read this blog. 

Anyway, on to the imaginary non-post post.

I'm a borderline terrible person. I'm a huge fan of Kelly Clarkson. Like obsessed, but in a healthy way. I do NOT consider myself a fan of American Idol, and with the exception of a handful of really excellent past contestants, I think this show is absolute monkey vomit.

Kelly Clarkson's much anticipated 5th studio album, Stronger, is coming out Monday, October 24th. But, this is the Internet folks... Like Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and pretty much anyone else whose crazy loyal fans love them so much they risk federal prison, her album leaked...

My new dream: Be photo-shopped THIS well!

Like the child who digs under his parents' bed and that creepy crawl space next to the laundry room in search of Christmas presents in November, I sought out and found the album. For shame, John. However, in my defense, I'm totally going to act surprised when I legally download the album I've had pre-ordered for weeks on iTunes because

1) I believe in supporting underrated artists whom I love, and
2) the Eric Hutchinson penned track Why Don't You Try is a amazing and "iTunes only."

The following is a completely biased, but still honest review of Stronger.

Let Me Down, I Forgive You, What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger), and Einstein in their demo form all leaked earlier this summer and for the most part sound exactly the same in fully engineered album form. Einstein (that leaked as Dumb + Dumb = U) is, well, kind of dumb. 

However, the first three fully encompass the classic pop-rocker Kelly sound that are best compared to her earlier work of Since U Been Gone and My Life Would Suck Without You. They aren't groundbreaking in any enormous way and don't show much artistic development. But they are all extremely radio friendly, like "if I hear that Adele song that is on every station one more time I'm going to drive my car off an overpass" kind of radio friendly. 

Like these three tracks, Stronger has other pop-rock gems whose remixed choruses will have you jumping on a dance floor surrounded by glitter-covered twinks and more glow sticks than Time Square on New Year's Eve include: Dark Side, You Love Me, Don't Be A Girl About It, and You Can't Win.

You Can't Win is the Kelly Clarkson version of Lady Gaga's Born This Way. It's supposed to be empowering for the underdog, embrace who you are no matter what people think song. But it is lyrically weak and seems to be trying too hard. The melody, chorus, and vocals are all amazing, the lyrics are just dumb and too straightforward.

Don't Be A Girl About It is marginally as stupid lyrically, and even more so conceptually. However, the hook on the chorus has a whistle like quality that is pure pop music meth. But, I firmly believe ANY song with a whistle is catchy. Case in point: Britney Spears's I Wanna Go, this summer's #1 Moves Like Jagger, and of course the theme song from The Andy Griffin Show.

Now, onto the reason I love Kelly Clarkson more than anyone else currently on the pop scene: the ballads. Oh sweet, melted butter the ballads!!! As much as I love the glow stick, glitter dance remixes of her empowering break up songs, I've always been a Kelly ballad fan.

Found on the Deluxe edition of Stronger, is one of my favorite songs on the entire EP, The Sun Will Rise. It is a girl on girl duet featuring former American Idol judge, Kara Dioguardi. Before (and after) AI, Kara has written hits for Kelly (Walk Away, I Do Not Hook Up) and tons of other artists (Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, and P!nk). She also has some recordings of her own that I have never heard of... Anyway, this girl can sing, and almost keeps up with Kelly on this amazing track.

The War Is Over and Breaking Your Own Heart (the last track on the standard edition) are also amazing.

Finally as of this morning's commute to work Standing In Front Of You is my favorite ballad on the album. It features NONE of the traditional Kelly giant, chesty Chewbacca notes. It is extremely slow. The chorus has this fascinating whisper-like, eerily syncopated quality that really delivers. It's almost haunting. I've never heard Kelly use such a delicate vocal on any record before.

Overall, this is probably one of Kelly's best works to date. It isn't personal and raw like her commercially unsuccessful but amazing album My December, but it seems much more Kelly than her previous All I Ever Wanted. Unlike that album that seemed completely label driven, she actually sounds like she believes what she's singing in her vocal delivery.

If you are still reading at this point, you are either a huge Kelly Clarkson fan too, or *EXTREMELY* bored and just wasted 5 minutes of your day on something you care nothing about... Take a look at your life dammit! 


Erin likes it hot. said...

I skimmed this post and still feel the need to contact a life councilor.

John said...

You probably should. I mean reading this blog is definitely not you being your best you.

I promise to have a real non-TV/music related blog soon. Seriously, I will make really bad decisions this weekend.

TJ Griffin said...

I finally listened to Kelly’s new album. It's solid and very Kelly. I wasn't blown away. It's a bit too safe for my taste at this point. Her current fan base will rejoice, but I don't think she'll gain many more fans than just a few more soccer moms. The Jason Aldean song didn’t really belong on the album either. I really liked “What Doesn’t Kill You.” Enjoy!