Has it really been ten years? It’s probably even longer than that since Kelly Clarkson won the first American Idol series, and managed to successfully cross over to worldwide success. Largely this was fuelled by landmark pop-rock smash “Since U been gone” in 2004, which propelled her second album “Breakaway” to massive sales, along with the barrage of hit singles that went with it.
She’s had ups and downs since then, but largely she’s managed to keep hold of her success. 2012 was a great year for Kelly, getting a big hit with Stronger (What doesn’t kill you), and further carving out her niche for pop-rock crossover hits. She’s drifting to the middle of the road, and I suppose will end up going country before too long.
To round off the first ten years of her career, the label – who showed a degree of restraint for not releasing this sooner – provided us with a hits collection in time for Christmas. I can’t say I find greatest hits collections such an essential purchase in the post-iTunes world, but it’s a pretty solid selection, and I wonder if it will go on to similar success as Pink’s massively successful hits disc from a few years ago.
Anyway we get a handful of new tracks too, the main supporting single being “Catch my breath”. It’s much in the same vein as her last album; radio-friendly pop-rock with a sheen of synths polishing it up. It’s tempting to interpret the lyrics as a look back at the last ten years, but I think it’s more about how she feels about the future. It’s a positive record, suggesting that she’s paid her dues and now wants to enjoy herself and play her own game. That’s progress I think, considering the angsty roots she’s had in the past.
It perhaps doesn’t have quite the punch of a lead single, but it’s pretty good and certainly not a blot on her new hits collection. I wonder what her next album will hold, but I’ll certainly be interested to listen to it. I really wish people would stop naming hits collections “Chapter one” – I can’t remember anyone who made it to Chapter two…