the Buzz for October 27th, 2011


Kelly Clarkson — “I Forgive You” (from Stronger) — I Forgive You - Stronger (Deluxe Version)

I can’t tell you how crazy I am about Clarkson’s stunning, triumphantly shimmery new fifth studio album, which I’ve listened to five or six times straight through this week, and which gets, uh, stronger with each spin. As a performer (and, somewhat to a lesser extent, as a songwriter), Kelly has always carried herself with a great deal of confidence and force, but it always seemed a bit showy and put-on heretofore. But listening to her blast brilliantly through these thirteen hunks of pop perfection — seventeen, if you pick up the album’s deluxe edition (and, trust me, you should) — you feel as though everything has clicked into place for Clarkson, and that she knows exactly who she is as a person and as an artist. (Contrast this album, if you will, with the most recent recordings from Christina Aguilera and Miley Cyrus, both of whom fell flat on their exquisitely made-up faces by trying to shamelessly ape Lady GaGa instead of staying true to visions of their own making.) Clarkson herself has, to her own detriment, veered out of her lane before as well — witness My December, her disastrously mopey (and dopey) 2007 stiff — but, in building (and, in every way, improving) on the success of All I Ever Wanted, the terrific 2009 effort that instantly rebooted her career, Stronger puts Miss Kelly back on the road, and firmly back in charge.