Snap Judgment: Early excerpts from Kelly Clarkson's 'My December'

Kelly_lKelly Clarkson’s struggle with record label suits over her album My December (due June 26) has been well documented. The original American Idol spoke about going toe-to-toe with label vet Clive Davis in the cover story for EW’s Summer Music Preview issue. The first single, "Never Again" seemed to validate her decision not to work with the same producers she used on 2004’s smash Breakaway, and to write songs that are more explicity personal.

AOL Music has posted snippets of three more tracks that follow in the vein of that biting first single, which she performed last week on the finale of American Idol. So what happens when an evolving singer-songwriter decides to "break away" for real?  If AOL’s first listen is any indication, don’t look for ultra-catchy tracks like "Since U Been Gone" or "Behind These Hazel Eyes." Instead, get ready for raw emotion, the kind that fuels the songs of Alanis Morrisette or Fiona Apple.

It isn’t what Kelly’s fans are used to hearing, but I look forward to hearing more of "Maybe," a song that’s more coffeehouse than Kodak Theatre. Kelly stuck to her guns with this record and I think it worked. Simon does too. (Not that you cared). But what do you think, PopWatchers? Do you want to hear more? Are you on Team Kelly or Team Clive?

Comments (97 total) Add your comment
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  • No Brand Woman

    As a general rule, I try to stay away from the teny-bopper pop music scene and I always associated Kelly Clarkson with that music. I’d love to see her steer more away from the sugary pop stuff. She’s got a great voice and if she wants to sing songs that are more real for her, then more power to her!

  • Paul U.

    I am with Clive, these songs are not doing it for me. Good for her that she is expressing herself, but I am not going to listen. Personally, I feel the world is already depressing enough and just want to hear a good pop song to take my mind off of it…

  • Kelly

    I LOVE Kelly Clarkson! I think she has an amazing voice and talent and I want her to be happy doing the music she wants to do-I just hope she doesn’t become one of those people who refuses help/recommendations from anyone, but I don’t think she’s on that track now…

  • Joe C

    I think I’m one of the few people who never cared for any of the songs from ‘Breakaway.’ I like ‘Never Again’ a little bit better. She’s got the voice. I’ll be interested in hearing it; I definitely think it will do well.

  • Andrea

    I seriously have no words for how much I ADORE “Sober” – or at least what we have of it so far. Very raw, very emotional and very poignant indeed. Lyrically and musically, this album is looking to be lightyears better than Breakaway.

  • dsquaredfrmasquared

    I like Kelly. I don’t like Clive. But in this case I think Team Kelly and Team Clive together came up with the Kelly vs. Clive angle to sell this CD. Her publicist works for her record label, so I think the whole “battle” is just hype.

  • josh

    Maybe it’s time for Clive Davis to call it a day? How this man did not see greatness in these tracks I’ll never know. Maybe and Sober could do very well on radio. And I haven’t heard Kelly’s voice sound better or more rich than I have on these clips. Thank you for the AOL heads up.

  • jennifer

    I just pre-ordered this album after listening to the clips. did not care for Thankful, liked a few songs on Breakaway (not the hits), this one seems much better.

  • Nancy

    Team Kelly! I can’t wait for this album to come out.

  • Shannon

    I’m loving this new and improved Kelly! I’ve always loved raw, emotional, deep lyrics and that’s why it’s been hard to explain to my friends why I’m such a fan of Kelly Clarkson, until NOW. This is the kind of music I feel she was destined to make..powerful, thought provoking, passionate. TEAM KELLY ALL THE WAY

  • Ginette

    Team Clarkson.

  • monee

    team kelly. i don’t want to buy the same CD three years apart. it might not be what teeny boppers want, but it’s growth and it’s been a long time since we’ve seen any growth from any female pop artist.

  • John

    I have not and probably will never buy a Kelly Clarkson CD but I have to admit that you have to admire someone taking a stand on how their voice is put out there and putting out music that is personal to them. That’s the kind of belief system that creates longevity.

  • Christina

    While I’m not completely on Clive Davis side (he did want her to record a Lindsay Lohan song afterall), I’m more leaning toward him on this one. The reason being, these new songs from Kelly aren’t really that great for someone who is supposed to be a hitmaker. I feel Kelly takes herself way too seriously when it comes to her music. It’s okay to make personal songs, but everything from her is just depressing.Has she ever releasesd a happy song? Let loose girl every once and awhile.
    Of these songs the only one that shows potential hit promise is “Sober.” The clip sounds like its the ending of the song so I’ll forgive the repetitiveness of the words “three months”, but the rest of the song better have some more substance to it. “Maybe” isn’t too bad but I doubt it will be a hit. “Can I Have A Kiss” is just awful

  • Janet

    Kelly could sing the phone book and I would listen. I think I’m going to prefer the new album. I would buy her country album, when she does one, and I’d also buy one of her singing standards. I loved when she performed “Stuff Like that There” on AI.

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