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Clarkson Gives The Finger To Sophomore Slump

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Any artist coming off a successful debut album fears the notorious sophomore slump, but when you’re the product of a hit reality series the pressure to prove yourself as a serious contender is even more daunting.

That’s why Kelly Clarkson’s second disc, “Breakaway,” is such a surprise. Not only has the winner of the first season of “American Idol” scored a huge hit, she’s actually won new fans along the way.

The album’s title says it all. Clarkson has managed to pull away from her squeaky clean “Idol” image with an edgier pop sound and sexy costumes like the hip-baring lingerie tops she wears in the “Behind These Hazel Eyes” video without alienating her core fan base.

She co-wrote half of the songs on “Breakaway” and tapped Ben Moody (ex-Evanescence), Avril Lavigne and Canadian singer Chantal Kreviazuk to craft a more rock feel.

The kicker was one of this year’s most irresistible pop-rock crossovers, “Since U Been Gone.” It’s everywhere — piped into casinos, wafting through speakers at Gap.

Clarkson defiantly belting the chorus is enough to make the Idol resistors cave.

It’s no longer a surprise when an Idol winner scores a No. 1 single or album out of the gate, but who would have guessed that Clarkson could topple the power of her initial post-“Idol” run?

She has two singles in Billboard’s Top 25. The dramatic ballad-rocker “Hazel Eyes” currently sits at No. 7, while “Since U Been Gone” still hangs on at No. 25. The album is at No. 8.

I’m not saying she’ll steal any fans away from Bruce Springsteen when the pair go head to head Sunday night (Bruce at the Charlotte Coliseum, Kelly at Cricket Arena), but a few music lovers, including myself, may be a tad conflicted.

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About Chris Evans

  • Eric Olsen

    Kelly has indeed been a great surprise. Chris, you have been an outstanding addition to the site -thanks!

  • Chris Evans

    Whee. Thanks. 😀

  • Tan The Man

    “Clarkson has managed to pull away from her squeaky clean “Idol” image with an edgier pop sound and sexy costumes like the hip-baring lingerie tops she wears in the “Behind These Hazel Eyes” video without alienating her core fan base.” — she is starting to look hotter…

  • Pam Avoledo

    Out of all the American Idols, Kelly Clarkson is the one I root for.

    She displayed a talent for pop-rock on “Low” and I was hoping she would go in that direction.

    “Breakaway” (the song) is like ear-candy. She handles the ballads much better on the second album.

  • Chris Evans

    Yeah, I love Breakaway. It’s so great. I’m leaving for NYC in 29 days to go study at Marymount Manhattan College–it’s my first time living in a big city–I’ve lived in southern Maryland most of my life. As my parents are driving me down the streets of Manhattan I’m going to be blasting that song on my iPod! Woot.

  • Olivia

    That’s so great, Chris! Good luck. What are you studying?

  • Chris Evans

    I’m getting a degree in Theatre with a Concentration on Writing For The Stage

  • Olivia

    That’s awesome.

  • Olivia

    I’m going to Eugene Lang College (In Greenwich Village) to study Acting and Writing.

  • Mihos

    Hate to admit it but Im a huge Clarkson fan. Her voice gives me goosbumps. Reminds of the old country crooners.

  • Chris Evans

    Her voice is absolutely amazing. But I knew this back when she was on Idol. Her voice is what will keep me being a loyal fan of hers forever–no matter what genre she decides to sing. But I’ve always preferred Kelly singing soul ballads like Natural Woman or The Trouble With Love. I hope she does some more of those on her next record.

  • Olivia

    Yeah, me too. I loved the song “Thankful”, “What’s Up, Lonely”, and “The Trouble With Love”. I hope she gets back to her soul roots soon.

  • DJRadiohead

    I think her music is awful but I have to hand it to her: she has demonstrated much more staying power than I thought possible and much more staying power than the other ‘Idols.’ I am not happy about that, but truth is truth. I still think she is bound for the bin sooner rather than later.

  • Rene

    It doesn’t look like it’ll be anytime soon DJ. Sorry.