Kelly Clarkson

// "Stronger"

Arguably the most successful “American Idol” winner yet, Kelly Clarkson’s 2011 release “Stronger” will not disappoint fans of her signature pop/rock empowerment anthems. The 13-track album is filled with heartfelt, sincere lyrics set to infectious dance beats. Clarkson’s ability to combine emotionally raw lyrics with hopeful, upbeat music makes her especially relatable to fans worldwide, and leadoff track “Mr. Know-It All” is the best example of this.

With powerful lyrics and even more powerful vocals, “Mr. Know-It All,” wherever he is, if he exists – and hopefully he does – gets a piece of her mind. “Can’t nobody tell me how it’s gonna be/ nobody’s gonna make a fool outta me/ baby you should know that I lead, not follow.”

Counting legends Tina Turner, Prince, Sheryl Crow and Radiohead as her major influences, Clarkson is able to successfully combine pop, rock, urban and dance elements – often all in one song.

The title track “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)” rivals Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” in the infectious, girl-power anthem department – a song that can easily be set on repeat.

The overall message is clear, but the vibrant dance beats make it that much more appealing. “Bet you think that everything good is gone/ think you left me broken down/ think that I’ll come running back/ baby you don’t know me ‘cause you’re dead wrong/ what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger/ stand a little taller/ doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone.”

Clarkson co-wrote five songs on the album – “You Love Me,” “Standing in Front of You,” “Einstein,” “Hello,” “Let Me Down” and “You Can’t Win.”

She counts “You Love Me” as her favorite track on the album. The song’s defiant, confident lyrics create a break-up anthem that could easily border on depressing, but a fast pace and rich vocals save the song and then some. “You said I’m not good enough, I’m not good enough/ but what you really mean is you’re not good enough, you’re not good enough/ you can’t deliver so you turn it around/ you didn’t let me down, you didn’t tear me apart/ you just opened my eyes while breakin’ my heart.”

“Stronger” showcases Clarkson’s vocals more than anything else, and with carefully crafted lyrics and songs of empowerment, the album will not disappoint fans.

Clarkson’s “Stronger” tour makes a stop at Showare Center in Kent on March 22. Tickets are available at tickets.showarecenter.com for $35-$65.

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