A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Kelly Clarkson's songs are full of powerful emotions -- most of which result from relationships gone bad or relationships gone good. The lyrics are intense (Your eyes they sparkle/That's all changed into lies that drop like acid rain/You washed away the best of me/You don't care), but are relatively harmless. The song "Addicted" uses the metaphor of drugs to describe being in love.
What's the story?
On BREAKAWAY's title track, Kelly Clarkson sings \"I'll make a wish/take a chance/make a change/and break away.\" If only she'd taken these words to heart on her second full-length album, and taken a few more musical risks. The CD starts out with three strongly produced tracks, featuring tasteful electric guitar and a smidge of actual rock & roll sensibility. But by \"Because of You\" (Track 4), our well-loved Idol nestles back into her comfy reality-show roots with the overwrought, oversung, overproduced spoon-fed schlock that America's idolizing TV audience has come to expect, and has even grown to love. There's nothing actually wrong with Breakaway -- the songs deliver some positive, if predictable, girl-empowering messages.
Is it any good?
The singing is histrionic but terrific, making it clear that Kelly Clarkson has some real talent and is even growing some as an artist. But it's hard to listen to this CD and find that much of anything sticks with you afterwards. If music is meant to feed the soul, then Breakaway is definitely a dessert, and a low-fat, low-carb one at that -- looks great, but doesn't really satisfy.