Kelly Clarkson is back happier than ever and offering you some positive and reflective pop songs on her average sixth studio album “Piece By Piece”. As a whole the album isn’t as strong as previous records and offers two types of mid tempo pop tracks; boring and impressive. Opening the album with the synthtastic lead single “Heartbeat Song” was one of the smartest moves because it’s easy to skip or endure through. It’s just a plain boring and unoriginal song that didn’t deserve to be a single compared to some of the strong material on this album. Her second single “Invincible” offers one of her strongest vocal productions in her career showcasing an incredible falsetto register that I never expected from her. “Take You High” sees her slightly experimenting with EDM influences and that excites me. I never saw it coming and when that beat dropped in the hook I was pleasantly surprised however the verses lacked substance and got lost in the strong production of the hook. Acting as a sequel to “Because Of You” the title track “Piece By Piece compares her husband and the love they have for their daughter to the estranged relationship she has with her father. “Piece by piece he restored my faith, that a man can be kind and a father could…stay”. “Run Run Run” is a beautiful ballad that features Grammy and Oscar winning John Legend. Their two vocals blend so incredibly well and create incredible harmonies that will easily make this one of the standout tracks on this album. The way the song builds is perfect. One of my favourite tracks on the album is the cheesy yet inspiring anthem “I Had A Dream”. With its unique beat and cool vocal techniques you can’t help but love it. “If you want to lead, be a leader. If you want to dream, be a dreamer. Climb to the top of the mountain and scream it, but remember when you get to the top everything you say is gonna matter”. But that’s when we reach the forgettable and boring mid tempo pop ballads. “Let Your Tears Fall”, “Someone” and “Warpaint” are average at best and didn’t excite me as a listener or a reviewer in any shape or form. “Dance With Me” is a cute jam that is a bit repetitive but works well as its catchy and fun. It could be potential single material, it’s not the strongest track on here but radio would probably fall in love with it. “Tightrope” was an instant favourite with its raw sound, beautiful vocals and sweet lyrics. “Cause I’ve looked and I ain’t seen nothing like you, the way you light up every room tonight so easily”. Bringing an influence of 80’s synth pop is the infectious “Nostalgic”. “Even though we lost it I still get Nostalgic. Even if we wanted you can’t turn back the hands of time”. “Good Goes The Bye” is an mid tempo ballad that grows on you with each listen. The hook is smart, effective and captivating. “Slam goes the door, hush goes the phone, out goes the flame and I’m standing here alone”
Kelly Clarkson isn’t angry anymore, she’s happy and looking at life in a more positive and reflective way. These songs reflect that and the lyrics are very relatable and quotable. It’s a mature sound that people will either appreciate or snooze on. As an entirety this isn’t her best work but there are some true gems that need to be discovered and heard for themselves.