Kelly Clarkson
Breakaway


4.5
superb

Review

by Brendan Schroer STAFF
March 26th, 2013 | 78 replies | 2,132 views


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If you're into modern pop music, this is essential.

Ah, the old days of American Idol... don't we all miss the days of Simon Cowell's creative insults and Paula's push-over attitude? Things are quite askew on the show nowadays with people like Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban taking the judging panels and the fact that the show's gotten... well... boring. Either way, season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson has still retained her status as a household name in the pop world; alongside this fact, her albums have gotten more praise than the average Idol star's body of work. After her mediocre debut album Thankful, Clarkson decided to leave the American Idol days behind and release a heavier, louder album in the form of Breakaway.

Whereas Thankful took on a more Mariah Carey-type approach, Breakaway plays out more like an Avril Lavigne record, most notably her debut Let Go. Much like that album, Breakaway sees Clarkson combine her pop sound with hard rock and pop punk while remaining a consistently high-quality release throughout. By now, most people know the singles: "Since U Been Gone" is an album highlight, being a delightful rush of punk energy after the acoustic flavor of album opener "Breakaway." Then there's "Walk Away," which combines a standard pop-rock feel with some R&B-dabbled vocal work from Clarkson. The chorus, while not really bombastic like the one on "Since U Been Gone," is just as much of an ear hook. "Because of You" uses the formula of "My Immortal" by Evanescence and adds more instrumentation to the initially bare-bones approach of the piano work. But then there are non-single highlights such as "Gone," which takes full advantage of a slightly off-kilter drum beat and a syncopated vocal performance in the verses. The clean guitar work here is a nice contrast to the power-pop distortion in the chorus as well. Finally, there's also "Where Is Your Heart," which goes further with the piano-centric idea of "Because of You" and adds a nice string backdrop to provide an orchestral feel to the arrangement. The mid-tempo drum work isn't anything special here, but it does its job as the main instruments are providing the goods at the forefront of the song.

While all of this is great, there's a little something extra here... something that other Idol stars usually don't have... oh yeah! It sounds fucking genuine! Clarkson especially sounds so natural and at home with what she's doing on the record that it's truly something to behold. Her voice has such an inherent kindness to it as she sings her lyrics that it's almost impossible not to get wrapped up in it. Even the backing musicianship doesn't sound artificial in any way... when firing up the album with some headphones, it sounds as if you're really in the recording studio with these people. All of this makes the album sound very heartfelt and generally refreshing, and there are few pop albums today that can make that same claim.

Unfortunately, there is a downside to all of this... the lyrics are pretty damn lackluster on this record. While they aren't the worst in pop music history, they certainly bring down an otherwise amazing album; however, one thing that pulls this flaw through is just how Kelly sings these lyrics. As she belts out on "Since U Been Gone," "since you been gone, I can breathe for the first time," she sounds exceptionally convincing despite lyrical shortcomings. Perhaps that's what makes this record so great; the stuff that's good is REALLY, REALLY good... definitely good enough to overcome any noticeable flaws in the songwriting or lyrics. Overall, it seems like the genuine nature and strong compositions are what make this album as fantastic as it is... and you know what? That's convincing enough for me.



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Dr Dave De Sylvia STAFF (4)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2013



7847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Papoose review coming tomorrow... it just isn't streaming yet, so in the meantime... I wrote this =)

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2013



7847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

From Justin to Kelly is so atrocious =(

breakingthefragile
March 26th 2013



2935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

She is the best thing to ever come out of American Idol, hands down.

breakingthefragile
March 26th 2013



2935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh come on dude, the hooks on this thing are undeniable.

toxin.
March 26th 2013



11807 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

kelly clarkson! whooooo

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2013



7847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"She is the best thing to ever come out of American Idol, hands down."

One of the only good things to come out of American Idol xD

toxin.
March 26th 2013



11807 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this > the spirit room

toxin.
March 26th 2013



11807 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good
glad to see you too laugh at your incorrect opinions

breakingthefragile
March 26th 2013



2935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

guize plz can we all just agree they're both better than The Fragile?

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
March 26th 2013



18612 Comments


damn a 4.5? haha nice revew though as always

Digging: Somos - Temple of Plenty

toxin.
March 26th 2013



11807 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

idk what the fragile is


FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2013



7847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Holy crap Alex, you gave that album a 1.5? O.o

joshieboy12345
March 26th 2013



5256 Comments


Yeah this is really good. Sooo catchy. I remember when it first came out, was on the radio non-stop.

Digging: For The Fallen Dreams - Heavy Hearts

pizzamachine
March 26th 2013



12568 Comments


classic shit right here

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2013



7847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The lyrics are the only reason I can't 5 this

joshieboy12345
March 26th 2013



5256 Comments


I really like the chorus of Breakaway.

toxin.
March 26th 2013



11807 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

lyrics aren't bad though

toxin.
March 26th 2013



11807 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i mean i would get if you said "if this had better lyrics it'd be a 5" but the way you phrased it makes you sound like you're detracting due to mediocre lyrics instead of just lacking that extra kick

i'm probably not making sense, whatever

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2013



7847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I just think they're kinda "eh"... I'm probably being nitpicky :P

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
March 26th 2013



23643 Comments


SINCE U BEEN GONE

I CAN BREATHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE FOR THA FIRRRRRRST TYME

legit amazing song

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants



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