Kelly Clarkson Returns To Save Pop Music From Itself Once More


The pro-Kelly Clarkson critical bias ’round these parts is pretty strong, and yesterday when the inaugural American Idol held a chat on the streaming-video site Ustream any notions of getting work done sailed out the window in favor of watching her endearingly answer questions about her dream duet partners (Miranda Lambert! Let’s make that happen!) and celebrity crushes (Kyle Chandler!) and new album Stronger, which comes out October 25. (A detailed recap is here.) During the chat also premiered the record’s first single “Mr. Know It All,” a forceful yet midtempo kiss-off to a lover that shows off her formidable pipes quite nicely; the chorus’s declaration that “you don’t know a thiiiiing about me” already started pinging around my head after a mere two spins. (Not that I stopped at two, because, well, why would I do such a dumb thing?)

It’s not the sugar rush that was “My Life Would Suck Without You,” sure, but I like the more mature direction she’s taking here. Also: Thank you, Sony, for putting up a sanctioned YouTube stream of the song. It almost makes up for your art department’s horrible aesthetic choices for the single cover.