Music Review: Kelly Clarkson, "Breakaway"
by Scott Juba
Published: January 17, 2005
Since her post-American Idol bubble gum songs, “A Moment Like This” and “Before Your Love”, Kelly Clarkson’s music has matured considerably. With her latest release, “Breakaway”, Clarkson adds a rock edge to her sound, producing the best results of her young career.
The album kicks off with the title track, “Breakaway”, a song about growing up and moving on in life, and then transitions to the bittersweet breakup song, “Since U Been Gone”. The third track, “Hazel Eyes” (which I suspect will be her next single) is by far the highlight of the disc. The song’s strong hook pulls listeners in and involves them in the lyrics without ever becoming gimmicky or manipulative. Clarkson’s voice oscillates between pain and defiance with near pinpoint accuracy, and now that she’s a few years older than she was when she recorded her first album, she brings more authenticity to relationship songs.
“Addicted” and “Hear Me” are other outstanding tracks that display Clarkson’s evolution from pop music to a heavier rock sound. The quality of the album unfortunately fades with the bland and conventional tracks, “Where Is Your Heart”, “Walk Away”, and “You Found Me”. Despite these small missteps, however, Clarkson’s career is thankfully moving in the right direction. She is discovering the style of music that suits her best, and if she continues to refine her sound, she is sure to produce an even better record the next time around. For now though, “Breakaway” is sufficient in establishing her as the best artist to date to emerge out of “American Idol”.
Overall Grade: B+