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| 7 March 2015 | Reply


Label: RCA Records

Release Date: March 3, 2015

Rating: 9.5/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Some artists find a comfort zone and kick out song after song and disc after disc.  Kelly Clarkson has run a zig-zag to get where she is now, but listening to her get better and stronger along the way has been great.  “Heartbeat Song” opens her latest disc and the sound is catchy – the tempo gets the feet tapping and sets the pace for the rest of the disc.  “Invincible” rolls out and has a cool Rihanna/Beyonce feel to it, without losing the classic Clarkson sound or voice.  The musical accompaniment is well suited for the deep lyrics.  “Take You High” has a different vibe than other tracks on the disc, but it isn’t so different that it doesn’t fit on this collection – as it shows change and growth in the musical direction on this disc.  “Run Run Run” opens as a mellower track musically and morphs into a full track at the bridge.  It features John Legend, who joins the fray during the second verse.  The duet at the second chorus adds depth to the track and disc.  “Let Your Tears Fall” builds the sound of the disc up with a cool track and vibe that is empowering and anthemic, especially at the chorus.  The groove of this disc seems to permeate every track, especially this track that has texture changes from verse to chorus.  “War Paint” brings a dance groove to the disc, allowing you to leave everything at the door… including your emotion and baggage, as is eluded to in the chorus.  The tempo of the track and sound of Kelly’s vocals keep the disc flowing.  “Good Goes The Bye” is an interesting closer for the disc, but it nicely book ends the disc with “Heartbeat Song” as both songs have different sounds, vibes, and meaning.

“Someone” is a great track that leans back on the lighter sound of the opening tracks, while delivering an energetic and heartfelt ‘F Off’ to someone that did her wrong at some point – it seems motherhood agrees with Clarkson’s attitude and the continued upward trajectory of her career.  Title track “Piece By Piece” takes Kelly’s vocals to a place they haven’t been previously.  The big chorus and lofty instrumentation beautifully showcases her emotive voice.  This track was build to perform live and should be embraced night after night.  “I Had A Dream” is a fun track that shows more diversification from Kelly, while also reaching back into the sound of Kelly’s back catalog.  Other than the stronger vocals, this song would have fit perfectly on the singers debut release.  “Tightrope” is a beautiful ballad that really allows Clarkson to shine without any huge production or musical track.  The emotional push-and-pull of the track can be heard through the lyrics and her voice from verse to chorus to bridge.  “Dance With Me” has a cool club feel that keeps the party going, even as the disc nears the end.  The vocals and lyrics add depth to the track, giving this song a full feeling that seems to pop from the speakers.  “Nostalgic” continues the feel-good mood of the previous track and would provide a powerful punch on the dance floor.  This song, coupled with some of Kelly’s earlier tracks are sure to fill headphones during a great workout!  From song to song, Clarkson has created a collection of tracks that stands up among her previous efforts, while demonstrating her continued growth as an artist.





Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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