Kelly Clarkson – Piece By Piece

Kelly Clarkson - Piece By PiecePiece By Piece is an album that fits within the expectations of Kelly Clarkson based on her past musical output. It isn’t beyond the brand of pop that comprised her last two records, All I Ever Wanted and Stronger, which both consisted of confidence-building upbeat pop songs and heartbreak ballads. She sticks to the same formula and wins with familiarity, but there are no surprises and little evolution in her sound, even if it’s been four years since her non-holiday last album.

Heartbeat Song, the first single, has crisp made-for-radio production, and an immediate chorus that not only starts the song, it kicks off the album. It’s fresh, though not as fresh as Mr. Know It All was upon release, and catchy, but not as catchy as My Life Would Suck Without You. It works fine as a single but as the lead-off for Kelly’s first album since becoming a mom, and releasing her greatest hits album, it’s lacking.

She offers her signature vocals on Invincible, one of two songs co-written by Sia. The other, Let Your Tears Fall, has been Kellified from what could have been a track on Sia’s own 1000 Forms Of Fear.

Take You High presents an ear-worm in the form of digital vocal processing that are cringing at first but repeated listens make it stick hard – I now look forward to it. There are many occasions on the record that bring out the singer in all of us as we join Kelly in song on Dance With Me and Nostalgic, both of which help hold up the back end of the album while I Had A Dream channels Music Box-era Mariah.

The album’s true highlight, however, is the title track. It has that attribute because it is a rare time Kelly opens up about something personal. In this case, she’s singing to her father about how her husband has restored her faith in men after he abandoned her as a child. The lack of subtleness in the lyrics weakens it but they are still biting and show Kelly’s ability to dig deeper with her music.

I always got the impression she has more to say than her songs usually give her room to, especially given how opinionated she is. Ever since the My December vs. her label situation, she’s rarely had the freedom to put that kind of passion into her lyrics and the title track breaks through that while the rest of the record sticks to being generic.

Piece By Piece is a pleasant album that is easier to like if you’ve accepted that Kelly will never be able to flourish beyond the pop singer she’s become known as, but to do so is to dismiss her potential. It’s unfortunate that I had an idea what this album would be like before hearing it. I don’t expect to be blown out of left field but it’s hard to stay interested when there is never an element of surprise. As Kelly’s music continues to stay on the side of safe, she becomes less interesting and there’s less reason to stay invested.
Three stars

Tracklisting
1. Heartbeat Song
2. Invincible
3. Someone
4. Take You High
5. Piece By Piece
6. Run Run Run [featuring John Legend]
7. I Had A Dream
8. Let Your Tears Fall
9. Tightrope
10. War Paint
11. Dance With Me
12. Nostalgic
13. Good Goes The Bye
14. Bad Reputation*
15. In The Blue*
16. Second Wind*

*Deluxe Edition

One comment

  • I just wanted to say that I love Kelly Clarkson’s music with all my heart and I want to spend the rest of my life listening to it because her music has been the best thing that has ever happened to me ever since she became the first winner on the first season on the T. V. show, “American Idol” way back in 2002. I would be lost if she ever decides to stop making music because making music is what she lives for. Kelly is one of the most popular and one of the most successful music artists in the music industry and of this generation who has a lot of fans who really enjoys listening to her music, and I’m also one of them who was born and raised over here in the United States of America. I have all of her previous albums and I bought the deluxe edition of her, “Piece By Piece” album at Target when it was released on March 3, 2015. The album debuted at number 1 on Billboard 200 and it has now sold 153,000 copies over here in the United States of America. I’m surprised that it wasn’t certified as Platinum, just like all of her previous albums were because she has a beautiful singing voice that can sings all types of genres. I do hope and pray that the album won’t flop because in my personal opinion, I think that it is one of the best Pop albums of 2015. I like Kelly and John Legend’s version of the song, “Run Run Run” a lot better than Tokio Hotel’s version because they put a lot of emotions into it when they were singing it as a duet. I have a lot of respect for her as a music artist and as a songwriter because not only she sings and writes about her own personal life experiences, also because she doesn’t show her nude body in any of her music videos. She also has a lot of creativity when it comes to her own music because she takes it into a different level by adding a perfect mixture of Country, Dance, Pop, R & B, Rock, and Soul to it and not a lot of music artists can really do that when it comes to their own music. I also have a lot of respect for her as a human being because she doesn’t have a mean bone in her body like my wife, Ashley does and I regret marrying her. I wish that I was married to Kelly instead because in my personal opinion, I also think that she looks a lot more prettier than my wife does. If Kelly wasn’t married to Brandon Blackstock and if she didn’t have a child with him, I would divorce my wife in a heartbeat and marry her. Her name would be, Kelly Brianne Clarkson-Groves instead of, Kelly Brianne Clarkson-Blackstock. I will always guard and protect her heart from all of those haters out there because she is a perfect role model to all of her fans out there by always staying true to herself, she doesn’t do drugs, she is so down to earth when it comes to meet her fans in person, and she doesn’t let fame go to her head. She deserves to have all of the happiness and all of the love that life has to offer and I will always be her number 1 fan no matter what because her music inspires me. End of story.

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