Kelly Clarkson should be a bigger deal.
Her voice is soulful and powerful and sounds like all the best qualities of Pink, Beyonce, and Joss Stone's voices mixed into one. She throws vocal runs and tricks like they're nothing and belts with a ridiculous amount of power and control.
She's one of the best singers in the industry right now, but she's somehow not up on that pedestal, so why not?
As far as her vocal talents go, she's unfaultable. This album has seen her finally step into the realms of soul and R&B which her voice was made to dominate. But she doesn't quite commit.
She keeps slipping back into this safe pop zone, which makes money and gets radio play when she's capable of so much more. These all sound like songs anyone could sing which they shouldn't because not many people can sing like this. When you take her voice out of the equation, Songs like Love So Soft, Meaning of Life and Move you are actually fairly unremarkable tunes.
She brings a bit of fire with Whole Lotta Woman, in which she channels Mo-Town vibes but still has declarations like "I'm a strong, badass chick with class and confidence" which take it from an R.E.S.P.E.C.T-type anthem to a level which feels a little juvenile.
It's frustrating because there's not really much wrong with this album and what there is, is easily made up for by Clarkson's talent, especially now she's unleashed a little.
But indulgent as it may be to say, she just didn't push it hard enough and the thought of what this album could've been makes what it actually is just a bit underwhelming.
Kelly Clarkson, Meaning of Life
Artist: Kelly Clarkson
Album: Meaning of Life
Label: Warner Music
Verdict: A lesson in vocal talent, but not what it should've been