Nearly a decade after she was crowned American Idol, Kelly Clarkson maintains the two elements that have made her successful - her five alarm voice, obviously - but more importantly her "every girl" appeal.
Dealing in her stock 'n trade of pretty raucous-pop, Clarkson turns out confessions like "you didn't let me down/you didn't tear me apart/you just opened my arms while breakin' my heart," on "You Love Me" with believability, like Kelly would utter such words to a former beau, this is the same girl who belted out "Since U Been Gone."
Stronger, lacks the edginess of All I Ever Wanted or brutal, dark honesty of My December, instead opting for the safer pop of her early records. Stronger has far too many valleys and not enough peaks, with the more powerful "Let Me Down," and "You Love Me" weighed down by choruses like "Dumb plus dumb equals you" on the clunker "Einstein," or the tired ballad "Standing in Front of You."
Clarkson, is no Katy Perry, and hasn't ventured into Carrie Underwood territory as she's alluded to, nor does she need to with cheekier pop tunes of "You Can't Win" and those horse-powered pipes but a little more variety couldn't hurt.
Essential Tracks: "You Love Me," "Let Me Down"