Will elaborate further on my dissection of the album, but just wanted to post this since this is one of the fall albums that I was anticipating the most and it held up pretty well. I came into it only hearing comments from others in blog posts when the demos leaked and then when the album leaked in full, but have successfully resisted listening to any of it (except the lead single, "Mr. Know it All") until I got my copy this afternoon. Kind of disappointed that I pre-ordered the deluxe edition of this album off of her website and STILL haven't recieved confirmation of it even being shipped out yet, but there's not much I can do about that. The only redeeming thing about getting it off of her website is that it comes with the bonus ep of the Smokestack sessions that isn't available anywhere else.
But so far, my 5 top favorite tracks off the album are (in no particular order): "Honestly", "You Love Me", "Standing in Front of You", "Let me Down", and "Breaking Your Own Heart" altho to be honest there isn't a lot of filler on the album from what I can tell and even the tracks not listed on the standard edition are pretty strong and solid.
OK, without further adieu...
OK, so I have time to do a kind of in-depth analysis of the new album. I like it, I like it a lot. In a lot of ways, this feels like the album that should have come out after Breakaway as it deals with getting over a relationship but does it in a lighter tone than the still under-rated My December. It is a very solid pop album and like I stated before, there are very few 'filler tracks' in the end product which I was very pleased to learn. I say that this feels like it is the album that should have come out after Breakaway because like I said, MD was a ilttle too heavy and while I liked All I Ever Wanted it wasn't an album that I've listened to much after the first go around. To be honest I haven't listened to it all all since it came out two years ago, save for today while I was coming home with the new Kelly Clarkson album. This one is one that I could easily see me listening to again and again. All I Ever Wanted always felt like a compromise between Kelly and her label - there were generic pop songs on there on an album that was pretty experimental.
The only ones that I disliked was her "Beautiful"/"Firework" rip-off of 'everyone is awesome and beautiful in their own ways' self-empowerment song "You Can't Win" and the silly, pointless pandering song "Einstein" that seems really juvenile and immature compared to the album at whole.
"I Forgive You", "Dark Side" and "The War is Over" are pretty noteworthy and solid and definitely worth a listen as well.
Overall, Stronger was a pretty strong and coheisive album with a lot of well-placed light rock songs mixed into it. There isn't a standout #1 hit on the album but there are plenty of songs with a lot of potiential who, with the help of good marketing, performances (which is something Kelly shines at, as she is an incredible live performer), and a well made music video could become future hits. Like I said, I'm a little biased but I think Stronger is overall her best pop album made since her berakout, Breakway and by tackling a lot of the lingering subjects she had been holding onto in regards of relationsdhip, seems to have resolved a lot of it and left for open for a clean slate on her next album.
Overall: Four out of Five Stars, B+
Check out: "Honestly", "You Love Me", "Standing in Front of You", "Let me Down", and "Breaking Your Own Heart"
Also Consider: "I Forgive You", "Dark Side" and "The War is Over"