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KELLY CLARKSON Breakaway

Being an American Idol does come with its limitations. Kelly Clarkson's debut, Thankful, followed a safe but lackluster formula that failed to work her voice to its full potential. Case in point: find the live version of 'Beautiful Disaster' on Breakaway, a more soulful and engaging rendition compared to the popish and mediocre original on Thankful. The title track and first single, 'Breakaway', is an appropriate description of the album, which takes a break from bubblegum pop to explore a harder and edgier sound. From the first chord of 'Addicted' where she sings "It's like you're a drug, It's like you're a demon I can't face down", Kelly's voice takes on a raw emotional quality that is only enhanced by her vocal clarity. 'Since You Been Gone' is a racy track has Kelly sounding somewhat like angst-princess Avril Lavigne but thankfully, all similarities end there. Watch out for other noteworthy tracks like 'Because of You', a lovely ballad and 'Gone', a fast-paced, catchy number.