Kelly Clarkson’s struggle with record label suits over her album My December (due June 26) has been well documented. The original American Idol spoke about going toe-to-toe with label vet Clive Davis in the cover story for EW’s Summer Music Preview issue. The first single, “Never Again” seemed to validate her decision not to work with the same producers she used on 2004’s smash Breakaway, and to write songs that are more explicity personal.
AOL Music has posted snippets of three more tracks that follow in the vein of that biting first single, which she performed last week on the finale of American Idol. So what happens when an evolving singer-songwriter decides to “break away” for real? If AOL’s first listen is any indication, don’t look for ultra-catchy tracks like “Since U Been Gone” or “Behind These Hazel Eyes.” Instead, get ready for raw emotion, the kind that fuels the songs of Alanis Morrisette or Fiona Apple.
It isn’t what Kelly’s fans are used to hearing, but I look forward to hearing more of “Maybe,” a song that’s more coffeehouse than Kodak Theatre. Kelly stuck to her guns with this record and I think it worked. Simon does too. (Not that you cared). But what do you think, PopWatchers? Do you want to hear more? Are you on Team Kelly or Team Clive?