All I Ever Wanted by Kelly Clarkson

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Kelly, I'm Glad You're Back- I've Missed You Since U Been Gone

Mar 19, 2009
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Lyrics we can all relate to, Kelly's vocals, something for everybody

Cons:Some songs border towards being overly synthesized and flat.

The Bottom Line: It's still worth shelling out $15 for; All I Ever Wanted is a decent pop album.

But she never left, you argue in confusion.

I beg to differ; the Kelly Clarkson we heard on My December is not the same Kelly Clarkson who we knew and loved on Thankful and Breakaway.

Kelly is back, and I couldn't be happier; although it's a bittersweet reunion. 


Because Kelly is back, but something is still missing.  You can hear it in her voice as she half-heartedly sings the lyrics to her slow songs; she misses artistic freedom much more than she misses any of her ex boyfriends.

What do I mean by that statement?

My December might not have been Kelly's most successful album, but at least it was HER album.  She sang WHAT she wanted, the way SHE wanted to.

With All I Ever Wanted, Kelly is back to living America's (and the rest of the world's) dream instead of her own.  She's like the girl who joins cheerleading for her mother rather than taking guitar lessons for herself; she's like the wife who "settles" because being "happy enough" is almost as good as being happy.

That's how the music industry works, though; the public dictates what they want to hear, and you can either a) cater to their needs (fondly referred to as "selling-out" or b) do what you want, but realize that you won't make much (if any) money doing it.  Britney's busy having nervous breakdowns (although she's making a nice comeback, thank God) and Christina's busy having babies; we miss pop music more than we'd like to admit.  We needed somebody to fill the Pop Princess role, and that somebody (much to her dismay, perhaps) is Kelly Clarkson.

With that in mind, All I Ever Wanted is a pretty good CD.

Kelly Clarkson's latest release is a mixture of pure pop pleasure and slightly edgy rocker chick songs; however, as I mentioned earlier, Kelly is bored with being a pop star.  Her voice is flat on some songs, void of emotion; memories of my 6th grade band teacher fill my head- "and once more, with FEELING". 

Don't get me wrong; the slow songs aren't terrible, or even bad.  It's just obvious that Kelly feels more at home when she's singing rock songs.  In "Whyyawannabringmedown", one of the rock songs on this CD, Kelly belts out her lyrics with such conviction that you wonder what led her to return to the pop scene.  In contrast, Kelly fails to convince you that she's having a hard time moving on from a previous relationship in the slow ballad, "Cry".

Maybe I'm just overanalyzing things; All I Ever Wanted is definitely one of the best pop CDs I've heard in awhile.  Perhaps avid pop listeners don't care about emotion or real instruments; everything I hear these days is so synthesized (vocals and instrumentals).  I guess it just sucks to hear Kelly's beautiful voice get washed out in some of the songs by fake keyboards and violins.  Whatever.  Moving along...

In addition to the fact that Kelly clearly isn't happy singing commercialized music, I have another (minor) complaint: Kelly's voice is no longer distinctive.  When Thankful and Breakaway came out, you could turn on the radio and go, "OMG! That's Kelly Clarkson's new single!".  I'm not sure what happened, but I find myself getting confused as I'm listening to All I Ever Wanted.  Is that Kelly Clarkson singing?  Pink?  Katy Perry?  Colbie Caillat?  Leona Lewis?  When did they become interchangeable?!

I figured out what Kelly's next album needs: a visit from Timbaland.  She's ready for a change, and he's a pro at making stuff that's weird enough to be different, yet commercialized enough to appeal to the masses.  She could also use a duet or two; I'm sure Lil Wayne will volunteer, since he's featured on EVERY FREAKING SONG these days (although I was thinking more along the lines of Justin Timberlake-it would go nicely with the Timbaland-produced beat that I'm hoping for).  Maybe even Steven Tyler could partner up with her; I mean heck, Pink (my other favorite pop star) got Aerosmith to do a song with her.

Here's a brief description of the 14 songs you'll find on All I Ever Wanted (and all 14 are about love, in case you're wondering):

#1-  My Life Would Suck Without You
This is Kelly's first single on this album, and it's catchy enough to deserve constant rotation on top 40 stations.  This song has a techno/dance beat (think Cascada), and is pretty fun.  I like how it unexpectedly comes across as being upbeat; if you were to simply read the lyrics without hearing the song, you would not expect such a thing.

#2-  I Do Not Hook Up
Kelly's "Girl Power" anthem; I almost expect to see a music video with Beyonce, Avril, and Pink (three ladies who don't take any you-know-what from guys) cheering her on with pink and black pom poms.  Katy Perry helped with this track.

#3-  Cry
The first slow ballad on this CD; it's okay.  Not good, not bad...just okay.  Kelly just doesn't seem into it.

#4-  Don't Let Me Stop You
Another slow ballad, although one that features more emotion than Cry.  Kelly seems more confident in this track.  I also like how her vocals aren't drowned out by fake keyboards/drums/whatever.

#5-  All I Ever Wanted
One of the better songs on this CD; also the title of Kelly's CD.  I find it ironic that Kelly chose to title her CD with this, because I don't think that she's referring to a guy (as I mentioned earlier, I think she craves artistic freedom more than being in a romantic relationship).  Anyway, All I Ever Wanted will have you bouncing your head with the beat at the beginning of the song, then being drawn into the melody as the chorus begins.

#6-  Already Gone
Starts off with a strong melody; you can tell this will be a ballad.  Would make a nice church or graduation song.  She reminds me of Leona Lewis on this track.

#7-  If I Can't Have You
This song must be eerily similar to Miley Cyrus' Fly on the Wall, because I always think that my daughter has snuck in and switched CDs every time it comes on.  I can't remember anything about it except for that.

#8-  Save You
Another slow song-and I like it.  The harmonizing towards the beginning is very nice, and there appears to be a real live piano (although I shouldn't get my hopes up, as it's probably just more synthesized crap and I just can't tell) towards the end!!!!!  Kelly does sound a lot like Pink on this track.

#9-  Whyyawannabringmedown
Kelly is a freakin rockstar.  'Nuff said.

#10-  Long Shot
I LOVE THIS SONG.  A musical anxiety attack (lyrics and presentation)-in a good way.  I like how it starts out fast, with a slow chorus.

#11-  Impossible
My other favorite; a slower song with EMOTION.  I picture Kelly sitting by the window on a rainy day, singing her heart out.

#12-  Ready
This is more of a sunny day song; Kelly has some pep in her step (and with good reason: "I'm ready now, oh I'm ready...").  This song, however, is not completely original; it reminds me of Colbie Caillat's "Bubbly".

#13-  I Want You
Even more peppy than #12 (perhaps Kelly is cheering up because her album is almost finished, and she can finally stop singing the stupid pop songs she hates), I Want You reminds me of a fair or a carnival.  Kelly is similar to Gwen Stefani in her No Doubt days (although you would not confuse the two), with a voice as sweet as candy and a melody to match.  I feel like I should be eating cotton candy and funnel cake while I listen to this song.

#14-  If No One Will Listen
This is the final song on All I Ever Wanted, and it is a very pretty.  It's a slow song, where Kelly stands by her man instead of hating him, missing him, or waiting for him.
All I Ever Wanted is a schizophrenic meltdown, 50:37 minutes recorded on a shiny yellowish CD with an airbrushed Kelly Clarkson on the front of the album.  Kelly is the girl-next-door, and I'm not digging the photos in the album jacket (except the one on the back, where her pose appears to be genuine rather than forced).  She looks like she's trying too hard to be sexy, although I like how she chose to wear a black leather jacket on the cover (because remember, deep down Kelly would prefer to be a rocker chick as opposed to a pop princess).

I'm a huge fan of Mariah Carey and Beyonce; I like women who can actually sing.  Kelly Clarkson has a strong voice, and a lot of potential; I look forward to her next album.

I'm giving All I Ever Wanted 4 out of 5 stars, because I still love Kelly matter what.  I also appreciate how experimental this album is; 5 years ago, you would have never expected such a diverse collection of songs from her.  Honestly, even when Kelly only half-heartedly sings her ballads, she's still WAY better than a lot of the girls dominating the top 40 charts these days.

Thanks for reading my review, and have a fabulous day! :)


Recommend this product? Yes

Great Music to Play While: Getting ready to go out

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