Kelly Clarkson
All I Ever Wanted


3.0
good

Review

by Rudy K. STAFF
March 13th, 2009 | 32 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Forget just for a moment that she was spawned by American Idol, and embrace one of the guiltier pleasures of this spring.

Ever since winning the first season of that all-time favorite show of musical sadists, American Idol, Kelly Clarkson has been on a commercial spree of success unmatched by anyone else to come out of that program save for Carrie Underwood. Building her reputation as a slightly rebellious pop singer with a penchant for big choruses wasn’t exactly tough, given her admittedly extraordinary vocal talents and the publicity she received from being the first Idol champ. Her fourth album isn’t exactly anything new, little surprise coming from an artist who has been carefully managed since she stepped into the public’s eye, but it does sound an awful lot like Kelly Clarkson – something I doubt will stand in her way of selling another million or so records.

Whether it be because of the excellent producers around her, who include Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic and Swedish svengali Max Martin, or the accessible charm of her personality, Clarkson knows how to put out hits. To her credit, however, it’s largely Clarkson’s voice that allows such mundane hits as “Since You Been Gone” to this album’s bid for single-of-the-year, “My Life Would Suck Without You” to elevate onto a level of pop brilliance. Versatile and authentic, Clarkson is a pop star one can relate to, and it’s this combination of star power and power pipes that make “My Life Would Suck Without You” such a bouncy offering of electropop. Her voice soars at all the right places, the lyrics are the perfect mix of venom and love, and the humongous chorus practically begs to be sung along to. Sure, the production is worth a million bucks, but it is increasingly evident as All I Ever Wanted tools along that Clarkson remains the star.

Production, of course, cannot be totally ignored, and it’s telling that I could easily see more than half the album becoming platinum singles over the course of the year. From the self-respect anthem of “I Do Not Hook Up” to the pounding arena sound of “Don’t Let Me Stop You” to the glitchy dance groove of “If I Can’t Have You,” hits predictably abound. All I Ever Wanted is a generally brighter affair than her last release, 2007’s My December, but Clarkson’s ‘tude is more than evident on tunes such as the faux-punk of “Whyyouwannabringmedown” or that ubiquitous hit single mentioned above. And when the album sags, it’s more because of an ill-advised production choice or a momentum-stunting ballad, like the all-too standard weeper “Cry.”

Clarkson’s voice is undeniably big, and so it should come as no surprise that she’s at her best being backed up by an army of ringing guitars and a hard-hitting chorus. On songs like “Already Gone” and the synth-heavy “Impossible,” however, Tedder’s so-so production turns Clarkson into merely just another pop sing behind an interesting beat. And while a song like “Whyyouwannabringmedown” is a novelty on first listen, Clarkson’s fierce snarl belies the fairly tame, self-evident message. Just try to ignore the embarrassing U2-esque “uno dos tres” countdown that seems to come out of nowhere and the artificial guitar solo.

But the hits outnumber the misses here, and when Clarkson and co. get it right, the hook will be bouncing around in your head for weeks. Katy Perry-throwaway “Long Shot,” the sugar rush that is “I Want You,” the funky groove of the title track: Clarkson is definitely not in any danger of becoming irrelevant, and each of the above is a choice cut of modern pop, buoyed by one of the best voices in the business. Forget just for a moment that she was spawned by American Idol, and embrace one of the guiltier pleasures of this spring.



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user ratings (88)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
sometime (4)
The Pop Radio station will once again embrace KC after the whole My December era, and there is no de...


Comments:Add a Comment 
klap
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2009


10453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Which was also a terrible album, imo

Digging: Tennis - Ritual In Repeat

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 14th 2009


20857 Comments


That's what Dave means Rudy. Clarkson tried to do her own thing on 'My December' and for the most part failed.

Good review here. Just one nitpick; You can make your reviews more universal by not mentioning seasons. It isn't Spring everywhere!

klap
Staff Reviewer
March 14th 2009


10453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

an excellent point sir. thanks!

ruby red
March 19th 2009


18 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i hate her. lol

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
March 21st 2009


7026 Comments


This album is pretty bland.

Digging: Perfume Genius - Too Bright

BeneathTheCrimsonSkyline
March 29th 2009


12 Comments


I like it.

Douglas
June 4th 2009


9110 Comments


I have heard worse

Digging: The Preatures - Blue Planet Eyes

BallsToTheWall
June 5th 2009


44471 Comments


Seriously what happened? She used to be hot man, 2002 and now......egads.

Digging: Tove Lo - Queen of the Clouds

scyther
June 5th 2009


1606 Comments


Yeah she's fat now.

cirq
July 7th 2009


9264 Comments


Kelly clarkson is one of my favorite pop acts

shindip
July 28th 2009


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

This album is just disgusting.

AtavanHalen
September 13th 2009


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Been listening to this so much lately; awesome

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 23rd 2009


20857 Comments


Just heard this for the first time. Pretty good & probably her 2nd best album.

There are 3 bonus tracks that are darn good also.

YouAreMySilence
October 18th 2009


3727 Comments


I heard Already Gone on the radio the other day, awesome song.


BallsToTheWall
October 19th 2009


44471 Comments


Holy fucking shit Already Gone is an amazing song. I just discovered who sang it today. Kelly's back!!!!!

jagride
October 19th 2009


2341 Comments


so are you trying to be all iconoclastic and shit

BallsToTheWall
October 19th 2009


44471 Comments


What does iconoclastic mean?

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2009


28577 Comments


yo im down w/ the clarkson.

it goes:

1. Michelle Branch
2. Kelly Clarkson (yea even wen she went all heavy metal and sh!t for 'My December'...sh!t was br00tal)
3. Sarah McLachlan

Digging: Chris Brown - X

KILL
October 19th 2009


71839 Comments


google is right there balls

BallsToTheWall
October 19th 2009


44471 Comments


Fuck google. I need to make dinner and start a class paper due tomorrow which I put off sicne last Tuesaday. More important things to do then look up a definiton.



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