Kelly Clarkson may be more known for her power pop anthems but deep in her catalog she has some gems that are ready for the dancefloor. From pop, to rock, to R&B and soul, Clarkson has a little bit of something for everyone. Her albums have always been eclectic in style and it's easy to find a song for any mood. AXS is taking a look at the top 5 dance songs to get the party started.
5. "War Paint"
Taken from Clarkson's sixth non-holiday studio album Piece by PIece, "War Paint" was vocally produced by her longtime musical director and friend Jason Halbert. Halbert did a masterful job on layering her vocals on this track that builds from beginning to end while Clarkson's pipes soar especially in the multi-layered background tracks. It's more of a groove than a dancefloor anthem but nonetheless a feel good vibe against pounding percussion with lyrics like, "We could be beautiful without our war paint, our war paint/ And we could have it all once we let our walls break... Why in the hell do we fight on the front line?/ When we both know that we're here on the same side."
"Stronger" is the title track to her Grammy winning album of the same name, but in reverse order for the single release (the album track is titled in opposite direction and early on she referenced it as "What Doesn't Kill You). The song itself was also nominated for a Grammy and was Clarkson's third Hot 100 No. 1 once released in 2012 as the second single from the album. It was also the first time the songwriter had a major artist record her song and struck gold when Clarkson made it her most successful song commercially. Before Phillip Phillips' "Home" in 2012, "Stronger" was the best-selling "American Idol" alumni track until "Home" was featured in the NBC clips for the 2012 gold winning USA Women's Gymnastics team.
Clarkson's fourth album All I Ever Wanted was a tricky one for the singer-songwriter as it followed her controversial third set My December that she wrote and recorded with her band to the dismay of then RCA CEO Clive Davis. In fact, Clarkson came out and said she was blackmailed into working with Dr. Luke on the track "My Life Would Suck Without You" or the record wouldn't be released. It was the compromise album and was more of a collection of pop tracks than a cohesive record. It still was an album of fun tracks. "If I Can't Have You" was conceived a year before the album was released with OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder. The electro-pop track has a slight grunge feel and is more than likely what the album was set out to be when she described the sound as "Garbage meets pop meets Muse" before its release. Clarkson released a slower version on the Smoakstack Sessions EP that coincided with online pre-orders of Stronger in 2011.
It may seem that Kelly Clarkson's Piece by Piece set had more uplifting tracks and that's because it does. It was the final album on her RCA Records contract and "American Idol" ties so it came out strictly pop. "Dance With Me" is slick with a hint of U2 in the verses while the chorus blasts into an empowering roar. The lyrics may be simple but Clarkson's voice is not with her gritty power, especially being pregnant while recording nearly the entire album.
If ever Kelly Clarkson has had that one cool track, "Take You High" would be it. Also taken from Piece by Piece, the track is as experimental as it gets for the three-time Grammy winner. She described the song as her "Bittersweet Symphony" of the album. It's infectious with an entrancing element throughout the entire song. Of course, Clarkson changed the dynamic of the song on tour and concluded the live track with Prince's "When Doves Cry" in an artistic fashion only she and her band could conceive. "Take You High" does just that.
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