Volume 96, Issue 15
Tuesday, September 24, 2002

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CD REVIEW: Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson
Before Your Love/A Moment Like This
RCA/BMG



Rundown: Not only was Kelly Clarkson the winner of the ratings-grabbing American Idol competition, but the super-friendly Burleson, Texas resident was also arguably the Miss Congeniality of the show. However, unlike beauty pageant contestants who can only offer shallow and useless things like world peace, Clarkson graces us with two wonderfully generic ballads scientifically designed to be hits on her first release.

Key tracks: Both "Before Your Love" and "A Moment Like This" were performed several times during the last few weeks of American Idol – the latter becoming the finalé theme to what was billed as a television landmark as Clarkson tearfully choked her way through the song. Unfortunately, the emotion didn't translate into the studio. Extremely fake-sounding gospel backup is employed in "A Moment Like This," devoid of the soul Clarkson belted out during her Aretha Franklin numbers on the show. Even "Before Your Love," the better track of the two, is missing some of the throaty accents Clarkson growled on the show – her voice, though powerful, is pretty much sterile on this recording.

Sounds like: This CD sounds like the offspring of Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston (if that was biologically possible). Really, that's not too surprising, considering Clarkson's career thus far has consisted of recycling other people's hits. As bland as this all is, you should still buy this single because Kelly is just so gosh darn nice. And I'm sure she wants world peace, too.

–Brian Wong

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