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All I Ever Wanted Is Kelly Clarkson’s Return to Summer

Emily LeStrange | Friday, March 20, 2009

With the recent temperature-boost in South Bend, you might be in the market for new spring clothes, shoes and, of course, that new album with summertime vibes to blast in the car or in your room. Fans of pop – look no further, Kelly Clarkson’s “All I Ever Wanted” is the perfect new release to prep you for the upcoming summer months.

As Kelly fans may remember, 2007’s “My December” was an uncharacteristically dark and gothic album that failed to earn the kind of success that 2004’s “Thankful” and 2005’s “Breakaway” managed to win. Fear not, for “All I Ever Wanted” returns to the fun-pop music that propelled Kelly to A-list status after her American Idol win in 2002. Clarkson’s fourth album is a collection of numerous tracks that rejuvenate the world of pop music with fun lyrics and addicting beats.

In addition to the single “My Life Would Suck Without You,” the album includes other hits that will entice you to sing along. Two sure hits, “Longshot” and “I Do Not Hookup,” were written in collaboration with the rising star of pop, Ms. Katy Perry, and her influence is quite obvious. However, Clarkson’s passionate voice and angry, spunk spirit give life to the songs in a way Katy Perry could not. Ryan Tedder, a lyricist who is responsible for Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love” and Beyonce’s “Halo,” is the creator behind a couple of songs on Clarkson’s new album, including “Impossible” and “Already Gone.” These pieces, however, do not generate the same kind of excitement as other songs that help display Clarkson’s loud, booming voice. Clarkson sounds best not crooning soft R&B ballads, but rather commanding attention with her pop-rock voice while being accompanied by catchy beats.

What is most exciting about the album is the sheer diversity of songs that remind us why we chose Clarkson as the winner of American Idol so long ago. In addition to the bubblegum pink pop songs like “Whyyawannabringmedown” and “Ready,” Clarkson includes a handful of numbers that echo the “A Moment Like This” days with their soft ballad-like tempos and lyrics that speak to broken hearts, including “If No One Will Listen” and “Cry.” Clarkson successfully crosses genre lines in “All I Ever Wanted,” a feat many artists are incapable of accomplishing.

In the two weeks since the album’s release, “All I Ever Wanted” has remained in the No.1 spot on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart. In the album’s first week alone, it sold 255,000 copies; this week, readers can anticipate seeing similar numbers. The album is already breaking records; the single “My Life Would Suck Without You” holds the record for the biggest leap to the top spot on the Billboard 100, jumping from No.97 to No.1 and displacing Britney Spears’ “Womanizer.” A deluxe edition of the album, which includes two bonus songs, three videos and a digital booklet, is available on iTunes for all you die-hard fans.

Overall, “All I Ever Wanted” is guaranteed to be a staple of 2009 hit summer albums. Clarkson redeems the 2007 flop “My December” with an album that promises to continue to break records. So, if your search for a perfect summer album has left you empty-handed, a good suggestion is “All I Ever Wanted.” Clarkson will not disappoint.