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Thankful

An album by Kelly Clarkson

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I’ll Keeping Listening For the Real Kelly Clarkson

  • Jun 4, 2005
  • by
Rating:
-1
Pros: Clarkson’s voice when it is allowed to breathe unhindered and unadorned.

Cons: The album is over-produced; too much going one at one to truly enjoy Clarkson’s voice.

The Bottom Line: My daughters love this CD, and why not it was meant for their consumption. As for me, outside of the tracks I detailed above, the CD is completely forgettable.

I have watched with interest the rising star of one Ms. Kelly Clarkson, the cute, bubbly, siren and first ever winner of the much ballyhooed American Idol. The lithe brunette from Burleson, TX with the honey coated-voice has enjoyed a modicum of success since her win in 2002. While the first track of her first CD Thankful (the subject of this review), The Trouble with Love Is was picked for the lead song for the soundtrack of the movie Love Actually, her theatrical debut From Justin to Kelly, with fellow American Idol alumni Justin Guarini, rightfully tanked at the box office. Come on admit it, it was a silly movie with a bad script and terrible acting. On an up note, Clarkson hit the air ways just two weeks after winning Idol with her first single, A Moment Like This (included on this album) and quickly earned platinum sales.

Thankful is the first full-length release by Ms. Kelly Clarkson. I recently picked the CD as a lark; let’s face it though I loosely follow her career, Kelly Clarkson is not an artist I would regularly listen to despite her vocal talents; her music is more geared towards an audience my seventeen year-old daughter’s age. The music and lyrics are meant for younger ears and its more about the beat, than it is about the message. The albums in this genre are frequently over produced and tend to smother the artist’ voice in a barrage of electronic noise masquerading as music; Thankful regrettably is no exception, even the slow songs are busy, and with very few exceptions Ms. Clarkson voice is inexorably lost in the mix.

During Idol (yes I did watch some of it), Kelly Clarkson’s voice was strong, clear, crisp, and soulful; it was up front and delightfully in your face, but on Thankful, with the exception of the first two tracks, and track number ten, that draw is missing, drowned out by electronic instruments and backup vocals that leave Ms. Clarkson voice a mere afterthought on her own album.

One of those exceptions is the very first track on the CD, The Trouble with Love Is, though I must admit the first time I heard the song was when I saw the movie Love Actually. The song is a good lead into this album, and it lulls one into a false sense expectation that this CD will be an explosive enjoyable repeat of Clarkson’s much lauded American Idol performances. Everything is in its proper balance; the music is complementary, and Clarkson’s vocal’s are deep, meaningful, and believably, beautifully, expressive.

Another exception is the first single from the CD, Miss Independent written by Christina Aguilera, of all people. The song has her signature all over it, and it is rumored that this song was meant for one of her albums but didn’t make it on. I like the song, the energy, the lyrics, the music, the message of the independent American women. She is strong, but love conquers all in the end; we all need that special someone to complete us…Clarkson attacks the song with gusto, making it edgy, hard and soft all at the same time.

The last exception is track No. 10, Anytime. Despite the virtual orchestra of voices and instruments backing her up, Clarkson’s voice comes through strong and vibrant, and dare I say soulful. A mellow track which starts out with a beautiful piano solo, the song quickly builds with Clarkson’s honey-sweet voice at the center of the maelstrom. Here, once again, are shades of the original Clarkson that made her Idol appearances so enjoyable; she pours her soul into the song, reaching deep to come up with a memorable performance.

My 10-year-old, and 17-year-old daughters love this CD of course, and why not it was meant for their consumption. Needless to say my copy of Thankful has been bequeathed to them for their enjoyment. As for me, outside of the tracks I detailed above, the CD is completely forgettable, though I will keep my ears open for anything new from Kelly Clarkson; who knows, like fine wine she make get better with age.

Track List:

1. The Trouble With Love Is
2. Miss Independent
3. Low
4. Some Kind Of Miracle
5. What's Up Lonely
6. Just Missed The Train
7. Beautiful Disaster
8. You Thought Wrong
9. Thankful
10. Anytime
11. A Moment Like This
12. Before Your Love



Recommended:
No

Great Music to Play While: Getting ready to go out

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More Thankful reviews
review by . January 15, 2005
While Kelly has a good voice, there are only a few songs on this album that are really good. The duet with Tamyra Gray is amazing. If you know someone who's a huge Kelly or American Idol fan, this is a great gift.
review by . September 28, 2003
Pros: Kelly's talent, catchy songs, beautiful ballads     Cons: Seems like Kelly is struggling to find her niche (read review)     The Bottom Line: Kelly's album turned out really well. But I shudder to think of how it would've turned out if RCA stuck to the original release date- 3 months after the finale.     America loves Kelly Clarkson. Or at least they should, since she won last years title of American Idol. I've never been a huge …
review by . April 20, 2003
posted in Music Matters
The producers of American Idol 1 struck gold when Kelly Clarkson walked in in a homemade denim "dress" and auditioned for their show. Fast forward a year, and it's hard to believe that the model-pretty girl on the cover of this CD is the same un-polished girl from that audition.Her voice is just amazing - it has the range and power of Christina Aguilera/Mariah Carey, but the playfullness and approachability of Faith Hill or Shania Twain. Either way, the voice is what it's all about.. and she's got …
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Vincent Martin ()
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I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
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Wiki

Kelly Clarkson, the toothsome winner of Fox TV's firstAmerican Idolcompetition shows that her prime-time win was no fluke. She blithely skips through octaves and genres like a seasoned pro, belting out power ballads like hooky "Low" and the Diane Warren-penned "Some Kind of Miracle," with the aplomb ofPat Benatarin her prime. Clarkson tackles the neo-gospel "Anytime" without flinching, then shows some dirty street cred as she growls through "Miss Independent," a song she penned withChristina Aguilera. But Miss Independent would be a gross misnomer; despite the fact Clarkson co-wrote four of the album's tunes. Clarkson not only had uber record exec/executive producer Clive Davis at her disposal, but an arsenal of producers and songwriters to make sure she didn't make a creative misstep. Despite Clarkson's sublime vocal talents, excessive gloss at times overwhelms the quirky charm and personality she displayed onIdol.--Jaan Uhelszki
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Details

Label: RCA
Artist: Kelly Clarkson
Release Date: April 15, 2003

First to Review

"Great debut.."
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