In a month’s time we’ll finally be treated to Kelly Clarkson’s latest album Piece By Piece, the above artwork has now officially been revealed. The record, featuring latest single ‘Heartbeat Song‘ as well as a duet with John Legend, is her first full LP with original music since 2011’s Stronger. Though the album is definitely a pop record, the star tweeted last month: “My next album is pop. But I am always influenced by music I love, which is pop-rock/country/r&b/dance #whoknowswhatsnext“. Known to explore other genres whether it’s a single, an album cut or simply a live performance, we’ve looked at all the genres Kelly excels in – have a listen!
Pop (1. The Upbeat Anthem)
If there’s a song which defines Kelly’s pop stardom it’s ‘My Life Would Suck Without You‘. Though Kelly initially went down an empowering, independent route in prior singles ‘Since U Been Gone‘ and ‘Never Again‘, ‘My Life…‘ saw the singer in a more romantic light. However, what made the song a hit was not just its catchy sound, it was its honesty. Rather than being overly gooey, Kelly essentially says, you’re a bit of a pain, but I can’t seem to live without you, a theme which resonated with the public so much that it earned her a number one hit in both the US and the UK.
Pop (2. The Slow Piano Ballad)
Considering Kelly is known for both her uptempo and her more sombre efforts (Because Of You) it would be unfair to dismiss one of her great power ballads. ‘Where Is Your Heart‘ appeared on 2004/5 effort Breakaway, Kelly’s most commercially successful album to date. Said to be about Clarkson’s relationship with then-boyfriend David Hodges , the slow number looks at whether his heart is in the right place, asking for a little more reassurance or basically, some ooomph which Kelly totally gives in her later choruses.
If you heard ‘Why Don’t You Try‘, you probably wouldn’t see it as a Kelly Clarkson song. However, this is no bad thing, the Stronger bonus track simply demonstrates her versatility as a vocalist. Just when you think you’ve got her pegged, she throws a soulful R&B curveball at you. Similar to ‘Where Is Your Heart‘, Kelly uses those pipes to ask for a little more from her significant other. She definitely brings some sixties/seventies soul and R&B to the table and we’ve got to say, it’s pretty special.
Similar to her R&B pursuits, Kelly oozes soul in her cover of Sam Smith’s chart-topper ‘Stay With Me‘. The cover makes you think back to her debut album Thankful before she entered her rock-infused pop era in Breakaway and My December. Though the song boasts some big vocal soars, it all comes too easily to Kelly – well, she has had over a decade’s worth of practice.