Release Date: Jun 26, 2007
Record label: RCA
Genre(s): Rock, Pop
Are you on Team Kelly or Team Clive? It seems like everybody chose sides before even hearing My December, Kelly Clarkson’s darker, more personal, riskier third CD. There are those who see her as a bird escaping a gilded cage, co-writing her entire album and bravely forsaking the hitmakers Clive Davis assigned to 2004’s five-times-platinum Breakaway. Others view Clarkson as a spoiled brat, so impressed by her success that she’s telling the industry’s most established father figure to take a hike.
Kelly Clarkson has made enough of a career for herself - her last album sold 11m worldwide - that she no longer needs the prefix "American Idol winner". This has given her the authority to dictate the shape of her third album, and she has opted for rock. That's not rock as in "ROCK", obviously, but the wipe-clean kind that begs your pardon for making noise.
My December proves that both camps were correct: Davis is correct that there are no big crossover hits here, yet it's also true that this is an artistic move that Clarkson needed to make. If left up to Davis, she would simply be another vocalist singing professional product -- the kind of singer AmIdol was designed to find. But Clarkson is young and moderately hip -- at least hip enough to know that she wants to sound fresher, younger than American Idol, so she needed to shake loose the shackles of the pop machine.