Kelly Clarkson is concerned. She released her new album Stronger this week and thinks it is her best work yet, but whenever something like that happens she worries nobody will like it.
The 13-song collection finds Clarkson working with a handful of new songwriters on some tunes and continuing to write her own music, which she has done since winning TV singing contest American Idol in 2002 at age 20.
While many past Idol winners have failed to rise to the heights of superstardom, Clarkson has enjoyed chart-topping success with pop rock singles such as Miss Independent and the smash hit Since U Been Gone.
But at age 29, the Texas native now has seen both highs and lows in her career and she knows that even if she thinks her songs are great, the fans are the ultimate decision makers.
“Whenever you love something so much — and I think this is my best yet — I think sometimes when I think like that, it means no one’s going to like it,” she said of Stronger.
A majority of the songs on the new album find Clarkson at an emotionally charged state. The sound straddles the line between big dance numbers and arena-rock bombast, which has become her signature calling card.
Clarkson calls the album “very intense” and said she felt she had a lot of energy and “soulfulness” to put into it. She likened each song to its “own little rollercoaster ride. Dynamically, vocally, that’s what I love doing.”
The energy is evident on the first single, Mr Know It All, as well as the up-and-down rock moments of You Can’t Win and the electro-rock arrangements of Let Me Down. Lyrically, the songs dwell heavily on relationships and empowerment, two subjects that have been highlights her work through the years.