Can’t wait another day.
This is it. This is the album Kelly Clarkson’s wanted to record and release her entire life.
Meaning Of Life is a soul-inspired, rock-pop-infused LP that shows off Kelly’s larger-than-life singing chops more than ever. She left RCA and signed with Atlantic, who gave her the freedom to bring her own vision to fruition.
“Im so excited cause they want to make the album that I’ve been dying to make since I was a kid and since I was on Idol… everybody’s been asking me to make a soulful record for years,” Clarkson said last year of signing with Atlantic. “While we’ve always had soulful influences on my records, we’ve never actually made a soulful record. That is what Atlantic Records and I are about to do.” And she has.
Most of the record allows the listener to fill in the blank. That’s where she falls flat – finally getting the opportunity to really flex her songwriting skills, Clarkson slumps back into her old habits. Much of Meaning could probably be applied to your own life. That’s really powerful on one hand, but like most of us, we use music as a mini retreat. Do you think Taylor Swift gave a shit whether we could relate to her beef with Kanye on “Look What You Made Me Do?” No, but it worked anyway.
That’s not to say there aren’t gleaming moments where the Grammy Award winner let’s us in. On “I Don’t Think About You Anymore,” Clarkson is Miss Movin On. She sings about a former flame and how they’re a thing of the past. “Slow Dance” is a romantic throwback about being a good girl. Despite the [insert emotion here] tracks, like “Medicine,” “Heat” and lead single “Love So Soft,” the record is a huge step up from her previous, Piece By Piece. Knowing Kelly created Meaning Of Life from the ground up with seemingly total control makes for an enjoyable listen. There might not be any “My Life Would Suck Without You” caliber tracks, but it’s not meant to. That Kelly is gone, and, quite possibly, is what all this means.