Kelly Clarksonâ€šÃ„Ã´s third album My December will be best known as an act of defiance. Clarkson dumped her manager and famously stood up to legendary BMG Music chairman Clive Davis (who didnâ€šÃ„Ã´t like her angry girl act) but she also made a rock album thatâ€šÃ„Ã´s unapologetically rough around the edges. Sheâ€šÃ„Ã´s popular with younger girls so it took guts to go this route and she does so with gusto. The album is a testament to her earnestness as an artist whoâ€šÃ„Ã´s come into her own.Clarksonâ€šÃ„Ã´s writing on My December is mostly full of angst and frustration, with some glimpses of hope. The CD opens with her as a woman scorned on â€šÃ„ÃºNever Againâ€šÃ„Ã¹ as she yells, â€šÃ„ÃºI hope when youâ€šÃ„Ã´re in bed with her you think of meâ€šÃ„Ã¹â€šÃ„Ã¬it worked for Alanis Morrisette and her Jagged Little Pill. With â€šÃ„ÃºIrvineâ€šÃ„Ã¹ her voice is restrained but lovely, as she sings â€šÃ„ÃºCan you feel how cold I am?â€šÃ„Ã¹ Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s obvious thereâ€šÃ„Ã´s some fire.
There arenâ€šÃ„Ã´t lots of pop-friendly tracks like Clarksonâ€šÃ„Ã´s previous smash â€šÃ„ÃºSince U Been Goneâ€šÃ„Ã¹ but there are some catchy ones that can appeal to a broad audience like the upbeat â€šÃ„ÃºOne Minute.â€šÃ„Ã¹ Thereâ€šÃ„Ã´s some wit with an ode to the singerâ€šÃ„Ã´s favorite scotch as she explains, â€šÃ„ÃºSo much for true love / Iâ€šÃ„Ã´ll take the Chivas instead.â€šÃ„Ã¹ Conversely, â€šÃ„ÃºSoberâ€šÃ„Ã¹ provides some needed optimism: â€šÃ„ÃºThree months and I’m still sober / Picked all my weeds but kept the flowers.â€šÃ„Ã¹
My December shows that Clarkson is self-assured, free to be imperfect, and more about emotion than polish. Clarkson leaves little doubt about her artistic integrity and talent. Sheâ€šÃ„Ã´s deserving of her status as a pop diva.