I have to say, this is one of the hardest album reviews I've ever written. I love this album so much I want to tell every single person about it, but I don't know how to accurately describe how good it is, so I end up just saying things like "HER VOICE. THE WORDS. JOFJFOJJSAOFSAJ". Here is my not so awesome attempt at convincing you in buying this album.
Mr Know It All- Perfect choice for a first single. It really gives listeners a glimpse of what to expect on the album. It's sassy, catchy, up beat, gospel-y. It's empowering and refreshing, especially with some of the other crap on the radio these days. It's quite popular, too. I hear it at least twice a day on the radio. Also, can I just say that the video is really what made this song for me? I liked the song, but I wasn't in love with it until I saw the video. The concept is amazing. You tell em, Kel.
'Cause I'm living my truth without your lies
What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger). This weekend I am going to begin training for my next 1/2 marathon, and this song has already landed a spot on my "training playlist". It's a solid pop song, up there with "Since U Been Gone". It's an anthem, it's powerful. When I hear this song, I picture myself on a dance floor with all my best friends, shouting the words at the top of our lungs.
Thanks to you I got a new thing started
Thanks to you I'm not a broken hearted
Thanks to you I'm finally thinking bout me
You know in the end the day you left was just my beginning
In the end...
Dark Side. Where do I begin? My favorite songs on past Kelly album's are always her more vulnerable and raw ones. This one is just that type. I love the way it starts off with the childlike whimsical sound. I also very much relate to this song. I have a "dark side", and that is severe anxiety. One of my biggest fears is that I'll never meet someone who loves me and my flaws. What I'm looking for is someone who can help remind me that anxiety is not my whole life, that life is bigger than that- and Kelly sings exactly that in this song. When I first heard this song it took a stab at my heart and sent chills down my spine. Kelly has once again proved how relatable of an artist she is. I love the raw emotion you can hear in her voice. Love this song, one of my favorites on the album, and holds a special place in my little dark sided heart. :)
It's hard to know
What you can become
If you give up
So don't give up on me
Please remind me who I really am
Honestly. The fact that this song follows Dark Side is genius. She opens with "could you love someone like that", after just singing about her dark side. You know, when I first listened to the album, this song didn't really speak to me, but now it's one of my favorites. Her voice is absolutely killer on this track and I am dying to hear it live. The line "beautiful lies" gets in my head at work, and makes me want to run and grab my ipod just to hear it. The soulful, gritty Kelly side really shows on this track. It's another sort of haunting, gut wrenching tune, and Kelly's voice just captures you. It's one of those songs where you're like "CHRIST! This is why the girl won Idol!". Hauntingly gorgeous. Especially towards the end, when she sounds on the verge of tears.
Bringing out the green in your eyes
Perfect disguise for envy and pride
You Love Me may be the catchiest song on the album. It's the one I like to jam to in my car. Wouldn't be surprised if this is a single, I imagine it would do very well on pop radio. Very catchy, great lyrics...it's basically turning the heartbreak back on the jerk, saying "you know what? no. I AM good enough- it's you who is not good enough. I'm gonna sing my face off now". The rythmn is very clappy and catchy. OH! Also! The part where she sings "you can't handle this, you can't handle this" makes me really want a mashup where she then goes into "I don't think you're ready for this jelly" but that's just me.
You couldn't win so you turn it around..
Einstein. Ugh. There's usually one track on every Kelly album that I can't stand. Hi, here's Einstein. The unfortunate thing is that her voice actual sounds killer on this song..especially the last few seconds when the music cuts and its just her soulful voice. And I imagine that it's a fun performance piece at concerts. I just...no. This song probably belongs on a Selena Gomez album. If you're trying to prove that Kelly is a mature artist with solid pop songs, don't play this song. It contradicts that statement. I can think of about 10920192 "unreleased" Kelly songs that should replace this one.
You can stop wasting my time
Without you I'm just fine
Standing In Front Of You is the first ballad on the album, and a solid one at that! It's subtle, but strong, and very relatalbe. Everyone has wished that someone would just realize what they had standing right in front of them. The chorus is pretty cool, the way they stacked the harmonies. It gives it a more "feel good, fall in love" sound.
You can close your eyes, don't worry. I'll still be here in the morning
Forgive You kind of reminds me of the type of song Kelly's background singers/very talented musicians JillandKate would release, just a little more production value to it. I love JillandKate's music...so by the transitive property (hey look, I'm einstein too!) I love this song. The best part, vocally, is the bridge. It's your typical pop rock jam. It gets in your head. I know from experience.
I forgive you
We were just a couple of kids
Trying to figure out how to live doing it our way
Hello. This song is interesting. The handclaps in the background kind of MAKE IT. I can just imagine how fun this will be in concert. It's not one of my favorites, but it's catchy and relatable. And the way she sings the word "hello" is fantastic.
holding onto memories of when I didn't know. ignorance isn't good but it beats being alone
War Is Over. One of my favorites, for sure. Kelly puts her foot down and says she isn't going to put up with it anymore. You go girl! This is one of those songs where get stuck on what to say- it's just a solid song and fits with the theme of the album. Take a listen.
i used to let you paint ‘em pretty pictures
you got me caught up with your, you’re my girl forever
so i forgive you, it felt good when you hold me
yeah you owned me
now you wish you had really known me
Let Me Down. Another potential single, this is a mid tempo catchy song where Kelly shows her authority. It's a bit darker than other singles, maybe not as pop sounding, but it's still catchy and a solid song. The best part is most def when she lets it rip and sings out "cause I know by now" and then hands us the chorus again. Terrific.
I need you to be there when you say you're gonna be
I care too much and you'll care enough to me
I want some place to rest my head without worrying
It's not fair, it's not fair, it's not fair to me
You Can't Win is a very clever song that steps away from the heartbreak/falling in love theme with the rest of the album. It's a song for the underdogs, a theme similar to popular songs like "born this way", "firework" and "raise your glass". This one is dedicated to everyone who's a "walking disaster", and kelly sings off some of the stereotypes out there. It's a feel good song...and I can't wait to be singing along to it at her concert with all my fellow Kelly fans.
if you speak, you'll only piss em off. if you don't, you're another robot. if you stop, they'll just say you quit. if you don't, you might lose your shit.
Breaking Your Own Heart is a beautiful ballad that I can relate too. Sometimes I feel like I am the only one hurting myself, not other people...I don't give myself a chance sometimes and I let fear take hold. I also tend to push people away when they get too close. Kelly sings about that, in a tender, gentle, bit country-ish way.
it's not too late, I'm still right here, if only you'd let go of your fears
Don't You Wanna Stay. Speaking of country :) If you've turned your radio on in the past year than you are already familiar with this beautiful country duet with Jason Aldean. I mean, Jason and Kelly probably have the two sexiest voices in music. Put them together, and you have a Grammy deserving song. I'll admit I usually skip this song when I'm listening to the full album, but only because I've heard it about a zillion and one times on the radio and I've been craving new Kelly music for years. I can't say enough good things about this song. It's a love song that makes me want to fall in love.
we can make forever feel this way, don't you wanna stay
Alone a great pop rock track that could have replaced Einstein and all would be well with the world. Basically it's saying that Kelly feels nothing when she's with this guy, that she just feels alone with him, not the way it should feel but then! she turns it around...she found someone new, and guess what, he doesn't make her feel alone. SNAP. The way the chorus is song is pretty cool, and sassy.
you're gonna miss me, so get ready
Don't Be A Girl About It. I haven't quite decided how I feel about this song. It makes me laugh. It's sassy and catchy, especially the "oooooh's" in the chorus. The intro is very similar to the intro of "my life would suck without you" which I found interesting. But yes, a good car song, a good break up song, will be a good concert song if she puts it on her setlist.
I guess it's true that love can grow in different directions
I chose the high road and you chose to be a girl
I know you're mad at me now
And it's all my fault somehow
Here comes my favorite part
You're so misunderstood
The Sun Will Rise is a duet with Kara DioGuardi. Correction. It is a perfect, flawless duet with Kara DioGuardi. Kara is not one of my favorite people. However, one thing I admire about her is her work with helping people who are facing addiction and depression and pulling them through it with music. Guess what? I think this song will do that. We know Kelly can sing, but dang- Kara can SANG too! It's got a bit of a country feel, especially Kara's part, but it is one of the most beautiful songs on any Kelly album. The use of the gentle violin was a wise choice, along with the lyrics and harmonies. Thanks Kelly and Kara for giving me a song to get through my days. One of my favorite songs.
Sometimes you just need a little faith (All you need is a little faith)
There's an answer to your prayer
And I swear that there'll come a day yeahh
The sun will rise
Why Don't You Try. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason we fell in love with Kelly in the first place. This song is vocal powered, and for good reason. It's a little old school/gospel sounding with a whole lot of soul. You know what I want? I want Kelly to perform this song at an awards show, drop the mic and walk away. So she can prove that she is a legit artist with a flawless voice.
heavier hearts won't justify why I'm gone today
The best songs: Dark Side, Honestly, You Love Me, War Is Over, The Sun Will Rise, Why Don't You Try