Kelly Brianne Clarkson was born on April 24, 1982 in Fort Worth, Texas. In 2002 she won the first season of ‘American Idol’. Her debut album was THANKFUL (2003). The debut single, ‘A Moment Like This’ hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Her second album was 2004’s BREAKAWAY. In June 2007 Kelly put out her third album, MY DECEMBER (RCA/19). Billboard’s readers named it the fifth best album of the year.
The opening song, ‘Never Again’, was written by Kelly and Jimmy Messer. It was the first worldwide single. This hard rocking song is addressed to a former lover: “Never again will I kiss you/Never again will I want to/Never again will I love you/Never/Does it hurt to know I’ll never be there?/Bet it sucks/See my face everywhere/It was you who chose to end it like you did/I was the last to know”. ‘One Minute’ also rocks and reminds me of people who are bi-polar: “One minute you laugh/The next minute you’re sinking into something black/I get the feeling that lately nothing ever really lasts”. ‘Hole’ describes the spiritual state of many today: “Tired of everything around me/I smile but I don’t feel a thing, no/I’m so far from where I need to be/I’ve given up on faith, on everything/All I want, all I need/Is some peace/There’s a hole inside of me/It’s so cold/Slowly killing me”.
Kelly, Aben Eubanks, Jimmy Messer, and Calamity McEntire wrote ‘Sober’, the second single. It’s a ballad of struggle: “Three months and I’m still sober/Picked all my weeds but kept the flowers/But I know it’s never really over/And I don’t know/I could crash and burn but maybe/At the end of this road I might catch a glimpse of me/So I won’t worry about my timing, I want to get it right”. ‘Don’t Waste Your Time’ is about a gal ready to move on from a relationship: “Don’t waste your time trying to fix/What I want to erase/What I need to forget/Don’t waste your time on me my friend/Friend, what does that even mean?/I don’t want your hand/You’ll only pull me down”.
‘Judas’ is a rock song, not surprisingly, about betrayal: “You turned around, betrayed your only brother/Forgetting me, you took things in your hands and left me out/After we’d been through so much/How could you let me down?.../Couldn’t believe (2X)/How you deceived, you deceived”. ‘Haunted’ was penned by Kelly, Jason Halbert (formerly of Sonicflood), and Jimmy Messer. It finds Kelly crying out and includes eerie sounds: “Where are you?/I need you/Don’t leave me here on my own/Speak to me/Be near me/I can’t survive unless I know you’re with me/Why did you go?/All these questions run through my mind/I wish I couldn’t feel at all/Let me be numb”.
‘Be Still’, is, appropriately a tender love song: “Far, away from it all/You and me with no one else around/A brand new start/Is all we need, it’s all we need to mend these hearts/Back to the beginning/Be still/Let it go/Before we lost hope/When we still touched and love wasn’t so hard”. ‘Maybe’ is a confessional track: “I’m confusing as hell/I’m north and south/And I’ll probably never have it all figured out/But what I know is I wasn’t meant to walk this world without you/And I promise I’ll try/Yeah, I’m gonna try to give you every little part of me”.
‘How I Feel’ is one of four songs written by Kelly, Jimmy Messer, and Dwight Baker. This pop/rock song is one many single gals will be able to relate to: “It seems every time I find a good man/He’s got a good little wife/I’m not jealous but I won’t lie/I don’t want to hear about your wonderful life/And babies everywhere I look/Trophy wives with their little black books/At this rate I’m gonna end up alone/It’s probably all my fault...” ‘Yeah’ has a funkified sound and finds Kelly confident: “I want to know, taste, hold, love you anytime I want to/Let me show you/Let me give you everything I have saved just for you/I know you love me but I’m gonna need more than what you’re giving me”.
‘Can I Have A Kiss’ finds Kelly speaking to a guy: “I’ve been a mess since you’ve known me/I can’t promise forever/But I’m working on it/If I can’t hold you/Can I give you a kiss?” ‘Irvine’ is a stripped down ballad with Aben Eubanks on the lap steel. It’s about wanting companionship: “Will you stay?/Stay till the darkness leaves/Stay here with me”. Last up is a hidden track, the acoustic ‘Chivas’.
MY DECEMBER reminds me quite a bit of Alanis Morissette’s 1995 album JAGGED LITTLE PILL. It is first and foremost a dandy rock music album delivered by times with angst by a young, compelling female vocalist. It is clear that Kelly truly wants to be in a happy, harmonious romantic relationship with a guy. However, she has experienced a lot of hurt, heartbreak, and misunderstanding that has left her jaded and afraid of getting hurt again. She is willing to take the risk though. Kelly is very transparent and honest on this album, not trying to fool anybody. If you’re looking for an album of catchy, cheery pop love songs, you won’t find it here! The photos of Kelly are great. I’m rating MY DECEMBER 92%. For more info visit: www.kellyclarkson.com.