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HomeGeneralTop Four Kelly Clarkson Albums: A Detailed Breakdown

Top Four Kelly Clarkson Albums: A Detailed Breakdown

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Since winning the first edition of “American Idol,” Kelly Clarkson has released nine albums. So let’s take a look at her best four.

American singer Kelly Clarkson made history in 2002 when the Texan won the first edition of “American Idol.” Out of 10,000 initial contestants, she succeeded against Justin Guarini in the final.

For winning the singing competition, Kelly got a million-dollar RCA record contract. She also became an instant celebrity as Americans and Texans, in particular, raved about one of their own.

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The month after winning the competition, Kelly’s first single, “A Moment Like This,” leaped from number 52 to number one on the Billboard charts. Riding on the back of her win and the record contract, Kelly has transformed herself into one of the greatest pop stars in the world.

So far in her musical career, Kelly has released a total of nine beautiful albums. Below we’ll take a detailed look at the best four of those albums.

Thankful (2003)

Kelly released her debut album “Thankful” in 2003, just a year after winning “American Idol.” As the album title suggested, the singer’s road to fame was rough, but she now had everything to be thankful for.

The album is a mix of R&B and trashy slow ballads. Kelly glows on this album, showcasing her strong vocals throughout. She managed to sound young and hip, sexy and sassy, attempting to make her music more appealing to a broader audience.

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Kelly Clarkson "Thankful" album
Image: Pinterest

“Thankful” contains 12 tracks, but like all music albums, some songs stood out more than others. “Miss Independent,” the album’s first single co-written with Christina Aguilera, “The Trouble With Love Is,” and “A Moment Like This.”

Kelly shows her range in tracks like “Just Missed the Train” (Pop), “Thankful” (R&B), “Low” (Country), and “Anytime” (Gospel). The other tracks include “You Thought Wrong,” “Some Kind of Miracle,” “What’s Up Lonely,” “Beautiful Disaster,” “Anytime,” and “Before Your Love.”

Breakaway (2004)

After her success on “American Idol,” Kelly knew she had to hit the ground running with hit songs. Although her debut album “Thankful” was reasonably successful, the singer still needed to escape the idol girl image and become a famous singer on her own.

Kelly had a lot of things to prove with her second album, “Breakaway,” and did just that. The album, released in 2004, allowed her to showcase her enormous talent and prove she wasn’t a one-hit-wonder. 

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Kelly Clarkson "Breakaway" album
Image: Pinterest

The Texan ditched the dance-pop evident in her first album in favor of a more rock-influenced album. Although “Breakaway” still contained a couple of ballads, they are surprisingly good.  

Some of the top songs in the album include anthemic pop tunes like  “Walk Away,” “Since U Been Gone,” and “You Found Me.” Like her first album, there are 12 tracks on “Breakaway.”

Apart from those mentioned above three, there are: “Breakaway,” “Behind These Hazel Eyes,” “Because of You,” “Gone,” “Addicted,” Where Is Your Heart,” “I Hate Myself for Losing You,” “Hear Me,’ and “Beautiful Disaster.”

Stronger (2011)

After multiple delays, Kelly released her fifth album, “Stronger,” on 25 October, 2011. Thankfully, the album lived up to its title, beating most of her previous albums bar  “Breakaway.” 

The much-awaited album held the attention of most fans after the release of its lead single, “Mr. Know It All,” which peaked at number 18 in its first week. However, six or more songs became popular after the album’s release.

Kelly Clarkson "Stronger" album
Image: Pinterest

“Stronger” became Kelly’s best album in years and an avenue to truly show off her enormous singing talent.  The producers and writers also deserve a lot of credit for the fantastic work on the album.

On the album, Kelly dazzles with her voice even during her lowest ranges. Her immaculate and fluid soul-rock vocals exhibit bottled emotions ingrained in up-tempo tunes. The balladic aspects of the album also make it very pleasurable. 

Songs like “You Can’t Win” and “Einstein” are guitar-driven hits, while “Dark Side” is a spooky music-box tune. “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” is a dance track with a solid “That which does not kill me makes me stronger” lyrical hook.

There are also top tracks like “I Forgive You,” “Honestly,” and “You Love Me.” The rest of the album contains “Standing in Front of You,” “Hello,” “The War Is Over,” “Let Me Down,” and “Breaking Your Own Heart.”

Meaning Of Life (2017)

“Meaning Of Life” is Kelly’s first album away from her RCA recording contract, which she got from winning “American Idol.” The singer, now under Atlantic Records, starts a new chapter in her life with this album.

Changing record labels also allowed her to pursue the type of music she wanted, and Kelly does seize this chance. “Meaning Of Life” sees her leaning more into soul and R&B. 

Her vocals on the album are full-throated and, like we’ve known it to be, quite outstanding. The songs on the album are also a mixture of rangy ballads and uptempo cuts.

Kelly Clarkson "Meaning Of Life" album
Image: Pinterest

Like always, Kelly shows off her range with a song like “Love So Soft,” which sounds similar in feel to “Miss Independent” from her first album, “Thankful,” with its bouncy feel. Others like “Heat,” which is a bit of gospel fire, “Move You,” and “Didn’t I,” which sounds modern.

However, the rest of the tracks sound old-fashioned but still relatively good. Kelly showcases her maturity on this album filled with songs about love and living. The blend of classic and contemporary sounds also makes the album good.

Apart from the tracks mentioned above, the album contains the titular song “Meaning of Life,” Whole Lotta Woman,” and “Medicine.” Others include “Cruel,” “Would You Call That Love,” “I Don’t Think About You,” “Slow Dance,” Don’t You Pretend,” and “Go High.”

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