Kelly Clarkson – My December
RCA Records (6/26/07)
I just got my first real, uninterrupted listen to Kelly Clarkson’s My December, and to me this is the best and most thought-provoking female pop album since Alanis Morrisette’s Jagged Little Pill, which was released in 1995/96.
For all of the controversy surrounding the album before it was released and all of the talk about tour cancellations and preliminary sales figures, allow me to state right now that this will become the most highly touted album of the year once people start paying attention to the actual music and lyrics that are on My December.
I am not saying this as a Kelly Clarkson fanâ€”in fact I was listening to the album with lowered expectations and skepticism, especially since I didn’t like Taylor Hicks’ album even though I was a Soul Patrol fanatic.
What this album has that other albums from both the pop and post-Idol worlds lack is a singer blossoming into a songwriter; a great vocalist putting her entire heart and soul into her music at a time when everyone else told her not to, and a woman who is broken and lonely but also getting through it all while being completely and utterly herself. She is not depressed and dark as has been reported, but rather pensive and reflective in what has been a grinding two or three years.
Being a poet/writer myself, I don’t just hear Kelly’s words but feel her lyrics seeping into that part of my brain that makes me want to write and cry and laugh and think. Alanis Morrisette was the reason I became a writer in the first place, and nowâ€”12 long years laterâ€”Kelly Clarkson is reawakening that part of myself that I nearly forgot existed; the part that can be so moved by someone else’s music that the stories being told stick with me, that the tears that fall down turn into words on a page.
Thank you Kelly for reminding me just how brilliant pop music can be when the artist is given a real chance to show off that increasingly elusive human side that we just rarely if ever get to see anymore.
Three favorite tracks: “Sober”, “Irvine” (plus the amazing hidden track after “Irvine”), “How I Feel”