My December

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
If any pop album of 2007 seemed like a sure thing, it was Kelly Clarkson's third record, My December. Kelly definitively shook off the stigma of American Idol with her second album, Breakaway, and, in particular, its smash hit "Since U Been Gone," an anthem so irresistible it was inescapable, beloved by teenage girls and hipsters alike it even inspired a pretty good cover from oak-hearted indie hero Ted Leo. Kelly had it all: hits and some burgeoning cred, so it seemed that there was no way to screw up the next album, the one that would cement her as a rock & roll queen. Turns out, that was a large part of the problem: Clarkson wanted to be a rocker, while ...
See more details below
CD
$7.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (CD)
  • All (7) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $3.73   
  • Used (2) from $1.99   

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
If any pop album of 2007 seemed like a sure thing, it was Kelly Clarkson's third record, My December. Kelly definitively shook off the stigma of American Idol with her second album, Breakaway, and, in particular, its smash hit "Since U Been Gone," an anthem so irresistible it was inescapable, beloved by teenage girls and hipsters alike it even inspired a pretty good cover from oak-hearted indie hero Ted Leo. Kelly had it all: hits and some burgeoning cred, so it seemed that there was no way to screw up the next album, the one that would cement her as a rock & roll queen. Turns out, that was a large part of the problem: Clarkson wanted to be a rocker, while her benefactor, the legendary record mogul Clive Davis, wanted her to stick as a pop star, setting the stage for a massive battle that spilled over into the tabloids and blogs. Kelly wrote and recorded her album as a rock record -- getting much mileage out of PR shots of her mugging with Minuteman Mike Watt, which also helped strengthen her legitimacy as a rocker even though all the accompanying articles suggested she didn't really know fIREHOSE from Firehouse, but to be fair, how many people do? -- but when it came time to release it, Davis balked, allegedly claiming there were no hit singles on the record at a label conference then playing a few cuts as proof and then taking several not-so-veiled swipes at her during the 2007 American Idol finale. Clarkson held her ground, insisting that My December come out the way she intended, firing her management team after the fight with Davis afterward, her first headlining arena tour was canceled, only increasing her bad press, but eventually getting the album in the stores in late June 2007. My December proves that both camps were correct: Davis is correct that there are no big crossover hits here, yet it's also true that this is an artistic move that Clarkson needed to make. If left up to Davis, she would simply be another vocalist singing professional product -- the kind of singer AmIdol was designed to find. But Clarkson is young and moderately hip -- at least hip enough to know that she wants to sound fresher, younger than American Idol, so she needed to shake loose the shackles of the pop machine. That, combined with real-life heartbreak her guy left her, a situation she doesn't shy away from on the album's lyrics, gave her the fuel to turn her third album into an statement of purpose. Unfortunately, what she wants to be is Evanescence -- gothic and operatic, filled with roiling emotions but few hooks. She tempers this with a few rock moves learned from P!nk, but the end result is that My December is more sound than song, which is nevertheless kind of modern: although this sound is starting to show its age as Hot Topic stores are starting to shutter, it nevertheless is a very contemporary sound and suits those girls who are growing up with Kelly, following her from Idol, through college, into an uneasy adulthood. It's a soundtrack to their lives, and perhaps even more so than before, since this awkward record is the sound of Kelly negotiating adulthood, unafraid of making mistakes. Even if it's not heavy on strong songs, it ironically is the most sonically unified record Kelly has made to date: it follows through on Clarkson's vision of being a modern rocker, cutting away all the stultifying adult contemporary and replacing it with emotional acoustic ballads but relying on surging rockers. It's what Kelly wanted to do, so on that level it's a success and one that listeners who share her viewpoint and quite likely her age will respond to, but for everybody else, My December is a disappointment. To those like Davis, who always viewed her as nothing more than a singer -- expecting Kelly to be a pop version of Carrie Underwood and singing whatever pretty song is put in front of her -- it's a crushing disappointment because it is deliberately not a pop record. Not that it's alienating, per se -- as Kelly said prior to its release, "it's not Metallica", it's doesn't push away the listeners -- but there are no hooks, nothing to suck in the many adults who liked Clarkson's first two records. And that's not limited to the middle-Americans who turned her into the first American Idol, either: there aren't hooks for the hipsters or pop junkies who loved "Since U Been Gone" or even "Breakaway" and "Miss Independent", the kind of listeners who have been craving Kelly Clarkson to be a cool rock chick, since she has the pipes and spunkiness to be everybody's favorite girl-next-door rocker. But that's not what Kelly wants to be -- she wants to be Amy Lee or P!nk, turning inward and writing from the heart, chronicling a turbulent time in her life. A few times, she comes up aces -- whether it's the bubbly electronics of "One Minute" that give this album some much needed spark, or the ruminative acoustic "Irvine" -- but these are hard-won, modest triumphs surrounded by over-reaching confessions that play like clich├ęs. And that's the conundrum of Kelly Clarkson -- she's a terrific singer and a very likeable star, but she achieved her fame by just wanting to be a singer, and after she achieved fame, she wanted to be an artist by going against the very music that earned her an audience. She may retain her hardcore fans, but it's unlikely that the mass audience will follow, since she's not making music for the masses here. Nevertheless, as Simon Cowell so sagely argued, by winning Idol and turning into a star in her own right, she's earned the right to follow her gut, no matter where it leads, so she's entitled to a difficult third album like My December. The real question now is where does this road lead her?
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/26/2007
  • Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
  • UPC: 888837161220
  • Catalog Number: 371612
  • Sales rank: 3,162

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Never Again (3:37)
  2. 2 One Minute (3:05)
  3. 3 Hole (3:01)
  4. 4 Sober (4:52)
  5. 5 Don't Waste Your Time (3:36)
  6. 6 Haunted (3:37)
  7. 7 Be Still (3:19)
  8. 8 Judas (3:25)
  9. 9 Maybe (4:23)
  10. 10 How I Feel (3:41)
  11. 11 Yeah (2:43)
  12. 12 Can I Have a Kiss (3:32)
  13. 13 Irvine (8:47)
Read More Show Less

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Kelly Clarkson Primary Artist, Vocals
Jeff Carney Double Bass
Erik Friedlander Celli
Joyce Hammann Violin
Aaron Heick Alto Saxophone
David Kahne Keyboards
Andy Laster Baritone Saxophone
Shawn Pelton Drums
Andrew Sterman Conductor, Tenor Saxophone
Mike Watt Bass
Cenovia Cummins Violin
Paul Woodiel Violin
Jason Halbert Keyboards
Antoine Silverman Violin
Mick Rossi Conductor
Sarah Seiver Celli
Roger Shell Celli
Lori Miller Violin
Hiroko Taguchi Violin
Jimmy Messer Bass, Guitar
Wendy Sutter Celli
Billy Mohler Bass
Aben Eubanks Guitar, Keyboards, Lap Steel Guitar
Entcho Todorov Violin
Technical Credits
Rob Brill drum programming
David Kahne Programming, Producer, Engineer
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Malcolm Pardon Composer
Kara DioGuardi Composer
Jason Halbert Composer, Programming, Producer
Chantal Kreviazuk Composer
Mick Rossi Orchestration, Orchestral Arrangements
Brett Kilroe Art Direction
Dwight Baker Composer
Jeff Kwatinetz Executive Producer
Jimmy Messer Composer, Producer, Engineer
Kelly Clarkson Composer, Executive Producer
Fredrik Rinman Composer
Aben Eubanks Composer, Programming
David Siskovic beats
Joe Baressi Engineer
Michael Raine Maida Composer
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously