Joanna Hunkin is the Head of Entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

Kelly Clarkson - All I Ever Wanted

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Rating: * * *

Working through Kelly Clarkson's fourth album is a bit like listening to an all-girl top 40 radio station. There are Beyonce-like ballads, Pink punk jams, Britney pop beats and so on.

They make for easy enough listening and Clarkson's vocals are more than capable of switching to the necessary dynamic - shouting out angry emancipation anthems or softly crooning love-soaked songs of forgiveness. But every one of the 14 offerings will make you think of someone else; someone who would be better suited to the song.

As a result, each track sounds more like a cover than an original. It's almost like listening to an American Idol retrospective, recapping the different genres a contestant has covered.

That said, there is one standout ripper of a song - the stonking Whyyawannabringmedown - which hears Clarkson channel Blondie as she turns out a bonafide punk track, accompanied by frantic drumming and searing, distorted guitars.

Written by some of pop's biggest behind-the-scenes names, it's no wonder the record sounds so similar to other artists. But that doesn't explain the lack of cohesion or Clarkson's complete absence of personality and identity. At 27, she should really learn to pass on the teen-angst offerings of My Life Would Suck Without You and I Do Not Hook Up.

You're not Miley, love.

Joanna Hunkin



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Joanna Hunkin is the Head of Entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

From lowly intern and official cake purchaser to Head of Entertainment, Joanna Hunkin has done just about every job going in the Herald entertainment department. After a five-year absence (where she learnt the dark arts of television broadcasting) she has returned to her happy place, where she leads an outstanding team of talented journalists. From Nick Cave to the Kardashians, she embraces all things entertainment and isn’t afraid to voice her opinions – of which she has many.

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