After American Idol

What critics are saying about Kelly Clarkson’s new album


Kelly Clarkson, who will begin a guest mentor role on The Voice Monday, dropped her new album Friday.

Kelly Clarkson, who will begin a guest mentor role on The Voice Monday, dropped her new album Friday.

During a September Facebook chat with fans, Kelly Clarkson could barely contain her excitement when talking about her new album.

“This is the record I’ve been wanting to make since I was a little kid,” she told fans.

“This is my first album to make outside my contract with Idol,” Kelly added. “I got to actually pick who I’m working with. Atlantic (her new record label) and I agreed on, like, everything. And so we have made the most amazing record.”

How excited was she?

“I feel like Khaleesi on dragons, coming in hot,” Kelly said.

That album, “The Meaning of Life,” landed Friday, featuring a more jubilant, soulful Kelly.

And it hit iTunes hot. The album was number one within two hours of its release. It was still number one as of 10:15 a.m. eastern time.

But how’s it being received by critics?

Here’s a sampling. “As cohesive and self-assured as this collection feels, Meaning doesn’t seem especially interested in scaling the heights of early smashes like ‘Since U Been Gone’ or ‘Because of You.’ Instead, it swings low and sweet — a refreshingly real dispatch from an artist expressing exactly what she feels in this moment, and nothing less.

Newsday: Gives the album four stars, saying “Clarkson has had finer singles, but ‘Meaning of Life’ is the best album of her career, a chance to declare her ambitions and deliver on them time and time again for her most cohesive album yet.

Pop Crunch: “Her eighth studio album is, from top to bottom and from start to finish, as good as a collection of pop vocals gets.”

Renowned for Sound: Gives the album 3.5 stars out of 5 saying “‘Meaning of Life’ illustrates Clarkson’s desire to push her musical boundaries and establish the foundations of the next fifteen years of her career.”

Slant Magazine: Gives Kelly 3.5 stars out of 5, saying ‘Meaning of Life’ doesn’t reinvent the genre, nor does it try to, but it portrays an artist continuing to redefine herself — in the process solidifying her position as one of her generation’s greatest singers.

Washington Post: “It’s proud, it’s sexy, it’s funny. Oh, yes, that’s the sound of freedom. On “Meaning of Life,” her first album since leaving longtime home Sony, the former “American Idol” winner seems liberated, more soulful and less poppy. Independence definitely suits her.

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