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2015/08/24

Of Note: ‘Invincible’ (7th Heaven Radio Mix) by Kelly Clarkson


Of Note: ‘Invincible’ (7th Heaven Radio Mix) by Kelly Clarkson

Who doesn’t love Kelly Clarkson?  She’s real.  She’s relatable.  She can sing just about anything. In a way, she’s America’s sweetheart.

Sure, she’s had her battles: Clive Davis (he is kind of a dick), body-issues (when you can sing like Kelly, who cares), and indifferent material (ummm, yeah)… but all that only makes her even more lovable. The most divisive the lady has ever been is when she voices her choice for the presidency. 



 ‘Invincible’, is merely the latest in a long line of likable, easy to digest, upbeat singles issued forth by Ms. Clarkson and her handlers.  Singles that come easily, sound pretty much the same, and fade into radio memory fairly quickly.  They’re the musical equivalent of Twinkies, but with a shorter shelf life.

One could argue that those life-empowering anthems hold great personal meaning to many a listener.  One could argue that her songs reflect Ms. Clarkson’s own personal struggles.  You could argue that, but – given history (both that of pop music’s and artists like Ms. Clarkson) – you’d be wrong. Someone sets them up, and she, with her incredible pipes and unerring sense of pop smarts, knocks them out of the park.


Not that there’s anything wrong with delivering up sugary slices of pop-infused sponge cake.  Nor is there anything really wrong with the term ‘Secretary Rock’, although it is frequently used in a sexist manner, typically only referring to upbeat music performed by female artists.  Me?  I think of acts like Train, when that term comes to mind.

I keep thinking that Kelly is going to come into her own someday. 

And that day, is today.

With the completion of her contract with Mr. Davis, the lady is on her own – she has the opportunity to call her own shots.  Will she?  She loves to sing songs written by others and even made popular by others.  Her in-concert covers demonstrate a breadth, cleverness and a talent for recognizing great material.  Not all singers are meant to write their own material.  I have an inkling Ms. Clarkson falls into that category.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.

For years now, Kelly has clocked in and done as told, singing the soon to be Top 40 staples crafted for her by the folks at her label.

So, what now, brave voyager? 

Country music?  You’ve demonstrated that you like to dabble.  You toured with your mother-in-law, Reba.  You did a duet with Jason Aldean. It seems your voice would lend itself nicely to that sort of country-pop, perhaps bringing a level of talent to the whole genre.

Or, are you happy being the Kelly Clarkson you’ve worked so hard over the years to develop? 

No matter what you do – you will succeed, because America’s got your back, kid.

And America has never really had an American Sweetheart age without falling off that pedestal (Amy Grant springs to mind.)


Avoid being shrill.  You can afford to sing songs without resorting to the very top of your register every time.  You’re not Jessie J.  You’re not Arianna Grande.  You’re not Katy Perry.  You’re Kelly Clarkson.

Avoid being angry.  America is full of anger.  We don’t need any more.

Ummm… and avoid that whole goth thing.  (See ‘My December’ – the only time you ever asserted yourself.)  That didn’t turn out very well, now did it?  But you’re older and wiser now. 

So, America holds its collective breath.

Who will Kelly be?

‘Invincible’.

Indeed. 



  








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