The electro-rock influences on the album, most obvious in “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger),” “Let Me Down” and “Einstein,” provide a refreshing departure from the generic pop accompaniments. Even with these brief twists, though, she fails to push very far beyond her earlier work.
Despite the album’s lack of originality, Clarkson still celebrates what made her a household name nearly ten years ago: her voice. The vocals on these new tracks are virtually untouched, highlighting its deep, soulful resonance. There is no denying that this girl can sing.
It’s not that her album is bad: Clarkson brings powerful vocals into catchy music. Although this was successful for her in the past, it’s just nothing new in the rapidly-changing landscape of popular music. Now, the persona and/or sound of an artist require some edgy, unique, provocative twist, which Clarkson fails to deliver on Stronger and is very possibly incapable of delivering in the future. Unless Clarkson can reinvent herself through some radical transformation, she will soon disappear into pop music obscurity. Girl-next-door pop is dying, and Kelly is being dragged down along with it.