Kelly Clarkson Powers Through On Latest LP
Having been a fan of Kelly Clarkson post-American Idol, I’ve seen my favorite Texan grow and release albums that I undoubtedly related to. Piece By Piece is Clarkson’s latest release and sees the AI alum put her voice and happiness first. Since marrying Brandon Blackstock and introducing their uber adorable daughter River Rose to the world, Clarkson’s music has changed for the better. Ditching her heartbreaking songs for a happier tune, Clarkson shines through and through.
Lead single “Heartbeat Song” starts the album off with upbeat synths with Clarkson’s vocals more noticeable than years past, while the Sia-penned “Invincible” empowers those to become warriors and weather the storm. “Someone” is sort of an apology – but in the sense that you hope someone finds what they’re looking for, and it’s a quiet pop song. Written by Matthew Koma, the song makes for one of the lighter moments of the album. Sweeping strings collide with EDM, a new style for Clarkson in “Take You High.” The build-up in the chorus leads to Clarkson’s voice being distorted momentarily and serves as a dazzling reminder about being in love. The title track serves as a bookend to 2004’s “Because of You.” No longer upset about a father’s absence, Clarkson weaves a tale of how her husband restored her faith and that he’ll never abandon her or their child.
John Legend joins Clarkson on “Run Run Run,” making a hauntingly beautiful ballad that morphs into a rock ballad as it ends. “Let Your Tears Fall” is Clarkson’s attempt at offering her shoulder for you to cry on and how she’ll be there for you when times are tough. The harps on “Tightrope” only add to the song’s majestic and graceful beauty. Letting your walls fall down may leave you vulnerable, but sometime it’s for the best. “War Paint” is a call for those who are safely guarded to be open and let others in. Personally, I see “Dance With Me” being the perfect tour opener. It’s a very Cher-esque track, and encourages fun on the dance floor. Probably my favorite song from the album is the 80’s jam “Nostalgic,” simply for its pop vibe. The bridge features laughter as Clarkson reminisces about good times even though they’ve ended. Ending the standard edition of the album is “Good Goes The Bye,” and is a sad 80’s pop song. Acknowledging that the relationship is over, the happiness seems to dissipate.
Kelly Clarkson has found a new perspective after becoming a mother and wife, and it’s influenced her sound. Whilst being pregnant, Clarkson recorded most of the tracks and her voice is indeed more profound and effective when it comes to the emotional fragility of the tracks. The album never dulls, and strengthens with each pop anthem and ballad.
Download Piece By Piece from iTunes!