The countdown to the weekend is on, with David’s review of the new Kelly Clarkson album ‘Meaning Of Life’.
But what’s he going to think of it? Is it a hit or a miss? And how many out of five?
Read on, chums.
As possibly the most successful talent show winner ever, Kelly Clarkson has had a career that is enviable to anyone who’s been on one of those shows and an example of exactly what can happen if things go well.
Sure there have been ups and downs (does anyone remember the World Idol finale when Kelly was beaten by Norway’s Kurt Nilsen? I do!), but one thing that remains is how relatable and talented she is.
On her debut release for Atlantic Records (after parting ways with Sony following many successful years post-‘Idol’), Kelly has turned up the soul roots on her vocals. They’ve always been there, but they’ve been suppressed by saccharinely sweet pop releases of years past. Those years have been highlighted by some of her best songs, but this new chapter feels energised and purposeful.
Lead single ‘Love So Soft’ has what has to be one of the highest music video budgets this year (asides from either of Taylor Swift’s videos) and the results are nothing short of spectacular.
It’s paired with a great tune and a really amazing way of introducing the sound on offer across her eighth studio album. It’s funky, it’s current and it suits Kelly to a tee.
Throughout ‘The Meaning Of Life’ in fact, Kelly sounds confident and comfortable in her musical skin for the first time in a long time. Working with a multitude of writers and producers (some new and some old favourites) has allowed the creative freedom she’s spoken of to come to life.
‘Heat’ is a charged song which bubbles along nicely as she sings about loving someone 150%.
Title track ‘The Meaning Of Life’ has some really interesting sonic layers to it as well. There are some gorgeous harmonies that come later in the song which support the message of love. It’s also really interesting to hear Kelly’s higher register come through crystal clear.
Lyrically the album focuses a lot on love and relationships, but one of the interesting tracks is album closer ‘Go High’. It uses Michelle Obama’s quote of “When they go low, we go high” in a way that avoids being cheesy while respecting the point of Michelle’s message.
While there aren’t any obvious “major” songs on this album, there are many that are as catchy as it gets.
‘Would You Call That Love’ and ‘Don’t You Pretend’ are two my favourites on the album and would not be amiss appearing on any current playlist or radio station.
There are no supercharged uptempo songs but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Kelly sounds amazing as she builds through songs, drawing out the story with each and every word she sings.
Over the years, Kelly Clarkson has managed to defy all the odds and forge out a successful international career and has grown her back catalogue with a multitude of monster hits.
‘The Meaning Of Life’ continues to grow that list of great tunes and provides a fresh way to connect with her as an artist.
VERDICT : 4/5.
MUST LISTEN : Love So Soft, The Meaning Of Life, Would You Call That Love, Don’t You Pretend.