The troubled My December has a far more interesting behind-the-scenes story than music, I find. Kelly Clarkson’s follow-up to her very successful Breakaway CD apparently caused a public friction between Ms Clarkson and Clive Davis, the boss of RCA and everyone, because Mr Davis feels that this particular album doesn’t have enough commercial music in it. After listening to this one, I think I’ll have to side with Mr Davis.
There is nothing wrong with a CD of not-so-commercial music, really, and I’m not saying that a former American Idol winner like Ms Clarkson is obligated to remain a bubblegum pop act forever, but let’s face it, Ms Clarkson is more Avril Lavigne than Amy Winehouse. She has very little personality when it comes to her music, and what little faux-passion she displays in her music is a product of a collaboration of various producers, song writers, and studio doctors. Heck, Ms Clarkson owes the title track of her previous CD to Avril Lavigne.
Which brings me to the problem that is My December: the CD is filled with what seems like the effort of a young woman who tries to be grown-up and angst-ridden but ends up coming off like she’s hopelessly out of her depth. The tracks are incredibly banal and even insipid when one looks at the lyrics as they are repetitious moody screeds against ex-boyfriends, daddies, and anyone who had crossed Ms Clarkson in the past. Some songs are pretty good, like One Minute and Don’t Waste Your Time, but most of the songs follow the repetitious structure of Ms Clarkson’s previous CD – in other words, she tends to sing in her normal voice during the verses before screaming her head off during the chorus.
The emotions feel insincere. The words to the song come off like angry doodling of an ordinary young girl who believes that she is having the worst problems compared to other emo girls everywhere. And with the songs here coming off like more tuneless variations of the songs in her previous CD, only with more angsty diary doodling put to words by Ms Clarkson, My December feels like a pointless watered-down rehash of Breakaway with the bonus of insipid angst on overdrive.