Kelly Clarkson
My December


4.5
superb

Review

by mvdu USER (3 Reviews)
June 24th, 2007 | 11 replies | 3,213 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Kelly was right to fight with Clive Davis. With My December, Kelly evolves as an artist instead of giving us Breakaway 2.

1 of 2 thought this review was well written

I feel that Kelly Clarkson has gotten better with every CD. Thankful showed promise with her powerful vocals, but really, it sounded much like her American Idol stuff - like "A Moment Like This." There were a couple of departures, like the Avril-esque "Low," but "Low" had a riff that was like a weaker copy of Avril's "Losing Grip." Breakaway was an album of strong pop/rock songs, ranging from the R&B-ish "Walk Away" to the folkish ballad "Where Is Your Heart" to the power pop sensation "Since U Been Gone."

It would be hard to top Breakaway, but with My December, Kelly Clarkson has done it. It starts out with the angry rocker "Never Again." That song, the industrial-dance song "One Minute," and the jamming-out "Hole" are harder but different than anything she's done. "Don't Waste Your Time" is a pop song that sounds the most like Breakaway, and is just as good as much on that CD. "Maybe" is a mid-tempo song that sounds a bit like one of Fleetwood Mac's more off-the-wall songs. "Can I Have A Kiss" is an rocker that builds to a fine crescendo. "Sober" is a spare ballad that lets her show off her voice. "Be Still" and "Irvine" are also haunting ballads. In fact, haunting is a word that can be used to describe the whole CD. Haunting due to the emotion Kelly puts into every word, and due to the melodies that seem to go into the ear and right to the soul. Think how "Addicted" from Breakaway had a drawn out melody that made sure that every word was made for maximum emotional appeal. That's the kind of feeling I get on My December. The album holds together well as a whole like Breakaway does, but My December has more variety. More strings are found, including violin, and there is more diverse guitar playing. Breakaway had a departure with the wall of guitar found on "Hear Me." But on My December, guitars slam ("Hole" and "Judas,") get helped by computer generation ("One Minute,") jangle ("Don't Waste My Time,") and are head-bobbing ("How I Feel.")

Lyrically, there are often very poetic, personal lyrics on My December. These lyrics fit the mood of the CD perfectly. Kelly has developed as a writer, exploring darker themes but not getting mired in sorrow. On Hole, she writes:

"Secrets
Eating at the core of me
Shut off
Trusting all the lies I breathe"

And on "Sober," she writes:

"Three months and I’m still sober
Picked all my weeds but kept the flowers
But I know it’s never really over"

Also, these lyrics really lay her thoughts out without the cliches that many a song about love have used. Not that there aren't familiar themes, but Kelly has a way of making those familiar themes sound lived through and fresh. You can admire the lyrics even if you've never been in the same situation, but often people will relate to them. One song that many could relate to is "Don't Waste Your Time," which explores the old theme of a lover trying in vain to keep a relationship going. Sample lyrics from "Don't Waste Your Time" -

"Don’t waste your time trying to fix
What I want to erase
What I need to forget
Don’t waste your time on me my friend
Friend, what does that even mean
I don’t want your hand
You’ll only pull me down
So save your breath
Don’t waste your song
On me, on me
Don’t waste your time"

The only weak spot on the CD is "Yeah." It's a funky song that completely lacks direction. It seems to be added as the obligatory funk track. The album also could have used a song to lighten the mood up more. But even though there might not be anything as immediate musically on My December as "Since U Been Gone," based on this very strong CD, I think that many fans will follow her on her musical journey. I'm already anxious to see what Kelly comes up with next.


user ratings (117)
Chart.
3.1
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other reviews of this album
Channing Freeman STAFF (2)
...

Dr Dave De Sylvia STAFF (1.5)
Sadly, even a spectacular failure would have been interesting....


Comments:Add a Comment 
MeowMeow
June 24th 2007



662 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Way too short. You're going to get a lot of shit for this review. Honestly it looks like a nice outline but you need way more information and to back up you opinion better. I'm not going to neg, but I suggest you delete it and put some more time into a longer review.

mvdu
June 24th 2007



601 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I feel like shorter reviews are often better. Longer reviews often over-analyze. I feel like I backed my opinion up fine.

mvdu
June 25th 2007



601 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Some sites like longer reviews, though. I felt the two negative reviews for this CD needed balance, but if the site needs it, I can add more.

mvdu
June 25th 2007



601 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I didn't see that sound off feature. I will use that in the future as it is useful for my style, but I've been adding to this review.

dub sean
June 25th 2007



980 Comments


very little detail
but it's your first review
I see some potential in here, and I like the career summary
i won't neg you...

mvdu
June 25th 2007



601 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for the feedback, dub sean. I admit I kind of cobbled it together. Next time if I post a full review, I'll spend more time gathering details.

I'm happy you saw some potential.

dub sean
June 25th 2007



980 Comments


Yeah I like how you sorta summed up her career, and the second paragraph is good as well. Then is sorta gets strung out and dies and whatnot.

Bfhurricane
June 25th 2007



6197 Comments


I wont neg this because you do show some sort of potential. I find the second paragraph really uninformative. How does this have more variety than Breakaway? How is the cd haunting? And try not to bother with inserting a lot of lyrics unless its completely necessary to your point. Finally, what I get from the review is that this is a decent album, not a 4.5/5. You should back up your rating to explain how this is an excellent and superb album.
Not trying to make you feel bad, but just take this as constructive criticism.

mvdu
June 25th 2007



601 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I guess I could edit some more in. I think there's only one weak song on the CD, and many of the rest are particularly strong, so it gets 4.5/5.

mvdu
June 25th 2007



601 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

OK, I made the one paragraph bigger. It's kind of hard to describe, but I hope I gave people some idea.

Bfhurricane
June 26th 2007



6197 Comments


I reread it, your second paragraph is much improved :thumb:



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