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Blake Solomon 03/01/09 05:21 PM

Kelly Clarkson - All I Ever Wanted
Kelly Clarkson - All I Ever Wanted
Record Label: RCA Records
Release Date: March 10, 2009

Putting All I Ever Wanted on shuffle could, depending on your thought process, ruin or save the whole experience. A far cry from Ms. Clarkson’s very public fight to write all her own songs on My December, All I Ever Wanted finds the singer co-penning just six of 14 songs (mostly with One Republic crooner Ryan Tedder). In this case, it’s a good thing Clarkson gave up some creative control, as her songs are generally the album’s weakest tracks (with the winners being string-infused rocker “Long Shot” and “Impossible”, which may be one of the best vocal performances of her storied career). Instead, All I Ever Wanted finds redeeming value in songs meant for Katy Perry or songs written by some of the biggest names in the game - lead single “My Life Would Suck Without You”, for example, has a veritable who’s-who of nameless songwriters behind it.

So it’s tough to really judge Ms. Clarkson, because so much of this album is simply not her. Sure, she had plenty of say on which pre-written songs would make it, but with each new writing credit comes another mood shift or jagged tempo upheaval. All I Ever Wanted has that classic characteristic of radio pop albums: a few singles crammed together before a bunch of useless filler. The album’s first four tracks are destined for road trips and karaoke stages. The Katy Perry demo “I Do Not Hook Up” has all the force of previous hits like “Breakaway” or “Behind Those Hazel Eyes”, except it’s less serious and dancey as hell. “Hook Up” leans on a massive chorus that will destroy radio as we know it. Following the rocker comes a Clarkson original called “Cry.” This is where I think her true talent lies; ballads that show off her amazing range. Clarkson’s ability to wallow in angst before letting loose with those formidable pipes is truly inspiring. (I still think American Idol should have stopped while it was ahead when Clarkson was named its first champion. F**k Taylor Hicks.) The last of the surefire singles is “Don’t Let Me Stop You,” a Pink-esque number heavy on guitars with a chorus the size of New York City.

And then it’s mixed bag city. The title track deflates any momentum from “Stop You” with its boring bass and a chorus too heavy on shrieks. “If I Can’t Have You” is Clarkson’s own attempt at Katy Perry or Lady GaGa, but it lacks the youthful authenticity of those acts. See, we know Clarkson has had her fair share of relationship problems, and a Britney Spears beat just doesn’t do enough for her mature persona. “Whyyawannabringmedown”, despite a completely obnoxious name, is a ridiculously fun retro rocker that’s about as punk rock as any female-crooned song on RCA gets. Sadly, there’s just not enough regularity to grab a firm hold. One minute Clarkson’s a disco queen and the next she’s in all black doing her best Evanescence, and then randomly she’ll “just want to have fun!” The musical whirlwind makes All I Ever Wanted very hard to digest in one sitting.

All I Ever Wanted closes with indie-pop pretending on “Ready” and “I Want You”, the latter of which doesn’t even sound like Clarkson. She penned both songs, which means this whole cohesion thing is a bigger problem than I initially thought. Even Clarkson doesn’t know what music she wants to make. I could say it’s an “album for everyone,” which may be true, but only in the sense that you’ll probably like a few of the tracks. But there are very few people who will pop this in and love it all. Maybe this is still part of her experimental phase. Maybe she’s not done deciding on a persona. But isn’t that what demos are for?

Recommended If You Like: Pink, Katy Perry, Madonna, Me Myself and Simon Cowell, the first iteration of Destiny's Child, Multiplicity, Whitney Houston in the Bodyguard, you know - stuff like that

You know I've lost a lotwww.myspace.com/kellyclarkson

Blake Solomon 03/01/09 05:23 PM

still loads better than most of her contemporaries.

11:11 03/01/09 05:27 PM

It wasn't horrible, but it had cringing moments. Especially from about the 4-8th tracks, because they were deadly boring.

By the way, nice review.

WhoSaidThat? 03/01/09 05:38 PM

You call that a review? This review is dreadful.

more heart 03/01/09 06:38 PM

This got a higher score than ADTR, lolwut?

Blake Solomon 03/01/09 07:57 PM


Originally Posted by LongDistanceDrunk (Post 37456372)
I like the Katy Perry version of Hook up but have no interest in hearing the Kelly Clarkson version. I was under the impression that Katy Perry wrote or co-wrote most of her stuff. I guess not.

perry cowrote "Hook Up", not sure about the other one that was originally attached to her, though.

more heart 03/01/09 08:07 PM


Originally Posted by LongDistanceDrunk (Post 37468822)
While I dislike both I'd rather llisten to Kelly Clarskon over ATRD which is just trendy scene garbage. Seriously they have released the same album four times except they changed the album title each time.

Could've sworn they have 3 records and that only their fans are scene...

more heart 03/01/09 08:13 PM


Originally Posted by LongDistanceDrunk (Post 37469122)
Four countiing re-relasing their first album as Old Record. Their music is trendy and scene. I wasn't talking about their fans anyways. Imo fans don't matter the music is what matters and that is why ADTR suck

Still only 3 record of original material.

I'm not trying to argue with you at all, just bring up some discrepancies with your arguements.

Blake Solomon 03/01/09 08:42 PM

there's no way to compare kelly clarkson and adtr. the scores, in regards to each other, couldn't be more irrelevant.

CellarGhosts 03/01/09 09:34 PM


Originally Posted by WhoSaidThat? (Post 37454852)
You call that a review? This review is dreadful.

Just because you don't agree with the reviewer's opinion (as I'm guessing you don't) doesn't make it a "dreadful" review.

WhoSaidThat? 03/01/09 10:28 PM


Originally Posted by CharlieKilo (Post 37476772)
Just because you don't agree with the reviewer's opinion (as I'm guessing you don't) doesn't make it a "dreadful" review.

No, I was making a reference to Simon Cowell, dude.

Blake Solomon 03/01/09 10:32 PM


Originally Posted by WhoSaidThat? (Post 37480922)
No, I was making a reference to Simon Cowell, dude.

ah, i must admit, that reference went right over my head.

smoke4thecaper 03/01/09 10:40 PM

She has one of the best contemporary voices in pop music today, but she needs to focus on one style and not try to zig-zag all over. It doesn't fit her -- she's better off being herself and not going for the dance-pop tunes.

WhoSaidThat? 03/01/09 10:42 PM


Originally Posted by Blake Solomon (Post 37481142)
ah, i must admit, that reference went right over my head.

Perhaps I could've executed it a little better.

EchoPark 03/02/09 04:11 AM

how in the hell is this shit getting reviewed