Kelly Clarkson's 'Stronger' released: Critics starting to expect more

kelly-clarkson-stronger-alb.jpg"Stronger," Kelly Clarkson's fifth studio album, drops Monday (Oct. 24) in CD and digital download format. It sounds like the critics think it's good while still thinking Clarkson could do better.

Brian Mansfield of USA Today writes, "Guys, if you start going out with a girl who tells you how much she loves Kelly Clarkson's latest album, run away. Fast. Kelly takes telling guys off to new levels here, to the point that you eventually start to wonder if, just maybe, it's not the guys with the problem ... Musically, 'Stronger' finds a solid middle ground between the pop-rock of her early albums and the high-energy dance grooves of 2009's 'All I Ever Wanted.' Vocally, Kelly's never sounded better."

The Washington Post's Allison Stewart says, "'Stronger' doesn't venture far from Clarkson's wheelhouse: punchy pop songs overloaded with drama, and resentment. Clarkson can make anything sound good, usually without trying very hard, and she knocks down these lightweight Top 40 anthems and mid-tempo ballads as if she were swatting flies ... a good album by a great vocalist who, it's easy to still hope, is capable of a lot more."

Andy Gill of The Independent writes, "Despite the references to Nietzsche and Einstein, which suggest a cachet Stronger doesn't deserve, this is simply an overlong string of standard putdown R&B and bogus emotional turmoil, the songs blitzed with generic power-ballad overkill. And while one can at least admire other singers' technical accomplishments, there's no narrative development in Clarkson's delivery, just a switching back and forth between plaintive verses and overwrought choruses, and utilizing the same irritating 'breathless' vocal tic that has become one of modern pop's more irritating affectations."

What do you think, Clarkson fans? Will you picking up a copy?

Photo/Video credit: RCA