Remember the days when an artist could speak their mind and have full creative control over their projects? When the creatures of the shallow aesthetic, otherwise known as the media, weren't waiting in the shadows for the opportunity to exploit irrelevant insecurities which are mere projections of their own low self esteem?
Yeah me either.
Kelly Clarkson's newest creation, My December, has pretty much gone over the heads of most in the press. You can't really blame them though considering they are conditioned like animals to follow patterns, and combined with a false ego that whispers in their ears that what they say is actually of substance. What you get is reviews like Kelly has had recently.
You can't teach people to think out of the box on their own; you can only hope they will catch on when presented with a scenario that deviates from the same tired formula. Unfortunately, reviewers in music today are more concerned about perks from the highest bidder than presenting an objective, intelligent, thorough review of an album. The reviews of My December were as simple as, "It's so depressing"… Thank you Captain Obvious, welcome to reality, hope you enjoy your stay.
Love and life ain't always roses and Mentos. In fact, a lot of the time it's like getting flaming paperclips shot into your exposed heart. You would move out of the way if you weren't wearing contacts marinated in Clorox, and you would run if you weren't being kicked in the jittles by pissed off chimpanzees wearing steel toe boots. But that's the beauty of life, that's why we need honest music, and artists that take chances. Indeed Kelly did take a chance with her new album, took a stand against the standard formula, and produced one of the best albums in a long time.
Unfortunately, that very brilliance is also the problem, an independent approach to a mainstream industry. Was it too soon for her to take on a project of her own? A project where she wrote all of the songs? There would never be a right time for her to do a project on her own while she was tied to an Empire. Her vision is music, their vision is revenue. Those two visions are always going to clash in the entertainment industry which is why you have formulaic drones being mass produced every day.
What happens when you try to voice your opinion, and take some artistic direction, is evident by the lack of support by her label, the passive aggressive actions of the American Idol benefit, and the press that are the Storm Troopers of the Empire, all warm and cozy nestled in their pockets. It's a hard lesson passed down, but the courage of Kelly to stick to her vision from beginning to end, regardless of the scrutiny, is admirable whether you are a fan or not. It's called Artistic Integrity, and it is rare, it is necessary.
What if it was a guy in this situation? Would it be such a big deal? I doubt that it would, and she certainly wouldn't get cutting reviews making fun of her supposed weight problem. What the hell does that have to do with her talent and where her music is headed? Not a damn thing, and, in fact, most of the reviews written about her weight are by men, which is very symbolic of the industry that she is involved in. She must adhere to an unrealistic standard of what is perceived, by men, as beautiful. Magazines like Cosmo, Elle, etc. perpetuate the cycle by providing these images as something to aspire to, rather than accept and admire who you are.
Reality check, a magazine that weighs 25 pounds, that has 10 pages of content, and 490 pages of products showing you how to cover up yourself is not a magazine after your true interest. Catering to people's insecurities is a manipulation, it's a marketing scheme, and it works. Why? Because it is unrealistic, the majority will never look like that, but they'll spend ass loads of money trying to get there, and that is the point. "Buy this foundation and you will look like a star!"
No, buy that foundation and you'll look like a woman with foundation on. Photoshop will make you look like a star. But don't speak out against it, oh no. Don't remind people that it is all an illusion, or you'll get burned at the stake just as Kelly was during this whole drama. Well Kelly, it was a great effort, but apparently you're not allowed out of the kitchen yet, throw on that apron you have muffins to make.
No matter how she is labeled, judged, scrutinized, disregarded, no one can take away the fact she carried out her vision. She showed yet again how real she is, how raw natural emotions are, and how accessible to those with a heart her music remains to be. Her album is a true testament to her rare talent, and the fact she is a damn good song writer. I appreciate the effort as a music lover, and as someone who thinks outside of the box. Above all Kelly reminds everyone that she is human and has her own voice. Presented with an undeniable elegance, driven by her own thirst to test her limits, and above all rooted in a foundation of humility and respect for those that have come before her, and those that support her… her family and her fans.
She has won tons of awards, and I'm sure will continue to do so. Which is all good if you're into that sort of thing, but it is her natural ability to absorb music for its complete texture, her genuine talent and heart that validates her place as a future legend. The critics will continue to grasp at straws, and there will always be someone to hold under the fire. The funny thing is, when she sings live, everyone shuts up, including the critics. It's also funny how they never seem to criticize her talent which is what its about right? She is a singer am I wrong?