Okay, I thought i’d start off with an obvious one. Released on March 9th 2009 in the UK, of course I was going to be excited, i’ve been waiting for this for the past 2 years. It was originally titled Masquerade but Kelly felt their were too many similar titled albums out this year, such as Funhouse by P!nk and Circus by Britney Spears. So this 17 track album, including bonus tracks of course, was a step up from My December? Well, yes and no. Yes, if you want a more radio-friendly, catchier album with plenty of high-energy choruses. But if you were looking for another Clarkson-dominated lyrical masterpiece, then maybe not so much. Although she contributes to the album, as many as 5 songs are covered and it has a lot of input by producer, and vocalist of OneRepublic, Ryan Tedder as he wrote most of the uncovered songs. But don’t let that put you off, as Clarkson vocals are as impressive as ever.

My Life Would Suck Without You is the opener, and boy does it set the tone. The guitar riff, some might say, is similar to Since U Been Gone but I disagree. With a belting chorus to knock you for six, Clarkson bellows “Because we belong together now, yeah!” making you bellow along with her. It’s a perfect opener and definitely worthy of her first #1 in the UK singles chart.  With the writers who penned Since U Been Gone and Behind These Hazel Eyes, Max Martin and Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald surely knew they’d written a winner here.

I Do Not Hook Up follows, with Clarkson singing a Katy Perry song. This could always have caused controversy, as Clarkson could be perceived as stealing songs from others. But her record label went ahead in naming it the second single. Compared to Katy’s version, Kelly’s vocals are of a much higher standard, and this is proven when you compare the two. But you have to give Perry some credit, the lyrics she wrote are genius. “I can’t cook, no, but I can clean up the mess you left” is phrased perfectly and is a real gem from Perry. Now because of Perry writing the original, I’m unsure if this had anything to do with the lack of follow-up success, only reaching #36 in the UK singles charts.

Cry is up next, and is the first ballad of the album, setting the standard higher. Clarkson’s ballads have clearly improved significantly and this should definitely have been released instead of Already Gone. The chorus is stunning, with Kelly’s vocals soaring amidst the slow drum beats and the guitar riffs. It definitely could have been the Because Of You of All I Ever Wanted.

Don’t Let Me Stop You follows and is possibly my favourite off the album. Having a Behind These Hazel Eyes success written all over it, RCA, Kelly’s record company, baffle me as to why they didn’t release this instead of I Do Not Hook Up. The upbeat, feel-good tempo instantly puts you in a good mood. With the bridge being sang ‘…and I don’t need to hold on.’ carrying the note into an explosive chorus, it clearly had “Top Ten Hit” etched in my mind.

All I Ever Wanted is next. Kelly covers rock/pop band Aranda’s song with the same name, and she produces a different feel to it, and also to the album, going a little journey away from her rock/pop. The song is a great addition to the album.

Already Gone follows, and was named as the third single. Now this is one of Ryan Tedder’s ‘wonders’ as it has sparked a huge controversy. The song has the same chord structure as Beyoncé Knowles’ Halo and has been cast as a “carbon copy” of the Beyoncé hit. This was never Clarkson’s fault, as Already Gone was written before Halo but the album was being pressed before she could remove it. Then the biggest mistake of them all, RCA chose it as the third single. Who would want to listen to a ‘copy’ of a Beyoncé masterpiece? Not a lot of people. Now, I don’t mean to be negative about the song, but the situation frustrates me as you can probably tell. Not just because Clarkson is marked a copy-cat, but because I genuinely love the song, and it could have been a hit without the Tedder controversy, which led it to get cancelled from release in the UK.

If I Can’t Have You is the next song on the album, and with a bouncy chorus, this could be a hit on the radio. The intro may have a small similarity to Fly On The Wall by Miley Cyrus, but I discount that as it’s not similar enough for me to comment on it any further. This song is a catchy, radio-friendly song and it grows on you the more you listen to it.

Save You is the second ballad on the album, and, I must admit, at first I wasn’t too keen. But I played it a few more times and it really grew on me. The classical piano-esque bridge towards the end of the song is really beautiful, and the lyrics and meaning behind the song is fantastic.

Whyyawannabringmedown is next, and brings a punky feel to the album, and is another cover from the band Aranda. Did we just hear Kelly sing “I’m not your love monkey”?  But with chorus clapping and Clarkson’s vocal acrobatics, she clearly makes it her own and successfully aswell.

Long Shot follows and is the other Katy Perry written song. Again, you can’t fault Perry’s lyrics “My heartbeat beats me senselessly” is an incredible lyric. Also, if Perry hadn’t of penned this, it would be an obvious choice for a single, but releasing two Katy Perry songs would be a ridiculous idea. Nevertheless, it’s a standout song of the album.

Impossible is next, and could easily be forgotten on the album. It quite possibly has “filler song” marked through it. But even so, it is still a decent track with Clarkson showing off her talent supremely.

Ready is quite possibly a hidden gem on the album. Clarkson reminds us of her ranges, whilst singing “I’m ready now, oh, i’m ready now”. Her “oh”s are brilliantly sung and her hushed “come get me” can’t help you smile at her charming whisper.

I Want You has a fun feel to it and, although, it doesn’t necessarily have a Clarkson ‘feel’ to the song, she definitely shows us she’s more than ballads and rock songs with a more contemporary feel to it.

If No One Will Listen is the final ballad on the main album, a cover of the Keri Noble song. Noble does sing the song well, but Clarkson takes it to a new level. With a smaller arrangement of just a piano and then introducing strings and a soft drum beat into it, it definitely proves it’s a great song to finish off the album.

Tip Of My Tongue is the first bonus track, and it feels like this would have been the direction Clarkson had gone, if she’d stuck with her Pop beginnings, rather than her Rockier ways. This track, for me, is skippable and is no surprise that it’s a bonus track.

The Day We Fell Apart is the second bonus track, and, in my opinion, is worthy of making the main album, rather than a bonus track. The song feels a little edgier than some of the bouncier pop in the album. The chorus is rocky and powerful and has a great beat to it.

Can We Go Back is the final bonus track, and I also feel it should have made the album. But it’s more of the My December era than this album, with a bigger edge than any of the other songs on here. Not that it’s a “dark” song, but the feel of it is different. The guitars are heavier and Clarkson’s vocals are harsher. But this is a great addition, even if it didn’t make the full album.

Overall, All I Ever Wanted could quite possibly be called “pop perfection” and it is most likely going to be my favourite album of 2009. Even with the two songs that are ‘forgettable’ or ‘skippable’, this doesn’t mean that I dislike them, they’re solid songs. The album entered and peaked at #3 on the UK album charts, but I feel that with a different record label, it could have done even better. I’d give this album 9/10 at least.

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