Can you believe it’s been 12 years since Kelly Clarkson’s first album?
Not only that, but ‘Piece By Piece’ is Kelly’s sixth studio album of original songs. Some artists would be putting out second-rate work by now, but thankfully that is not the case here.
The album’s first single, ‘Heartbeat Song’, was a bit of a misfire. But don’t let that fool you, because there’s a lot of good stuff on here.
Firstly, the two Sia contributions, ‘Invincible’ and ‘Let Your Tears Fall’, may be lyrically very Sia (aka heavy on the metaphors), but Kelly’s assertive vocals make them her own.
‘Someone’ is also a bit special, edging along urgently – much like ‘Already Gone’ – before hitting a beautiful crescendo.
The album is Kelly by numbers, but with an electronic twist; a winning combination in our books. Although they’re not all winners.
We could have gone without ‘I Have A Dream’, which is a bit too much like a P!nk reject for our tastes.
For those after a couple of classic Kelly ballads, ‘Run Run Run’ and ‘Tightrope’ should hit the sweet spot, though the former reminds us a bit too much of A Great Big World’s ‘Say Something’.
The best track on here is definitely the title track, which is almost like the happy ending to ‘Because Of You’. It’s distinctly personal, yet you can imagine an arena singing along to it loudly.
We also need to give a shout out to the bonus tracks, which are all quite good.
The best bonus tracks are those that aren’t cohesive with the main album, but shine on their own merits. And these songs do just that.
‘Bad Reputation’ in particular is damn good, with a soul and big band-influenced sound. ‘Second Wind’ is also quite good, with its smart lyrics and sharp melody.
All in all, ‘Piece By Piece’ is a solid, well put together album that reminds us why Kelly is one of the few Idols worldwide to still have a rock steady career.
In the future we’d love to see her write more on her albums, as the title track is really quite something.
We know she tried that before (with dismal results) on 2007’s ‘My December’, but maybe now she’d be better at juggling her intense lyrics with the empowerment anthems we’ve come to love from her.
Download : Invincible, Piece By Piece, Bad Reputation.