Kelly Clarkson is looking to release her first record with her new deal under Atlantic Records. The upcoming set will be a collection of soulful R&B tracks, an album she's been wanting to make for quite some time. Her catalog is filled with diversity from pop, to rock, to soul to dance. In her prime, she was known for her angst and was dubbed "the breakup queen." Her breakout album Breakaway was a departure from her mixed debut and incorporated more rock elements. She then followed up with the controversial My December which took her into an alternative sound reminiscent of the 90s. AXS is taking a look at Kelly Clarkson's top 5 rock songs.
"Can We Go Back" was released as an iTunes preorder track from Clarkson's fourth record All I Ever Wanted. It has a pop sensibility but Clarkson's vocals soar with that grit she developed over the years. It could be classified as pop rock but the ripping guitars throughout give it that flavor to push it beyond the pop limits.
4. "Long Shot"
Written by Katy Perry, "Long Shot" was transformed from a mediocre demo to a highlight of Clarkson's fourth record. The album was a collection of different styles and "Long Shot" fit in nicely with its thumping beat. Listening carefully, it sounds like a throwback to 1980's pop rock Cher with an anthem-like chorus and layered vocals ala "If I Could Turn Back Time."
One of two tracks originally recorded by rock group Aranda, "Whyyawannabringmedown" is more punk than it is rock. It sounds like another throwback but this time to the 90's movie "Wayne's World." Clarkson could teach Cassandra a thing or two about singing a punk rock track having that power behind each line littered with sass.
"Never Again" was written around the time she wrote "Behind These Hazel Eyes" in 2004 after a breakup with David Hodges from Evanescence. The song was released as the lead single from My December and became another top 10 hit for Clarkson despite being pulled from radio by then RCA CEO Clive Davis. It was the only single Davis would release in the United States but became a staple to most of Clarkson's tours. In 2011, she released an iTunes EP with an acoustic stripped down piano version. She's performed both versions on the road along with a dance remix originally done by Dave Audé. "Never Again" is straight to the point blasting her former relationship with lines like "A trophy wife, oh how cute/ Ignorance is bliss" and "Bet it sucks/ To see my face everywhere." Hodges came back with the track "Just A Girl" telling his side of the story but nevertheless it was Clarkson who won in the end.
1. "Hear Me"
Upon the release of Breakaway, "Hear Me" became an instant standout track found towards the end of the set. It was a fan favorite and has also gone through various changes through the years on tour. There's nothing short of rock in the track from the heavy guitars to Clarkson's rock chops. It could have easily charted as a rock track and be played on various types of rock radio stations. Clarkson wrote the song about feeling alone in the industry when she first started.
While these songs are only a small number of rock tracks in Kelly Clarkson's catalog, they stand out to show her unique capability of being able to take on any song she's found or has written. There are many more rock tracks such as "Addicted," "All I Ever Wanted," the throttling "Hole," "Hello" ala Sheryl Crow, the U2-tinged "Can I Have A Kiss?" that showcase her powerful voice.
Related: Top 5 Kelly Clarkson dance songs