Since winning the original American Idol, Clarkson has released one studio album, Thankful, and has starred in a movie called From Justin To Kelly. Now it was up to her to create her sophomore album, one she was part of, and proud of. Breakaway was released here in the UK on July 18th 2005, and it was this year that Clarkson would soon realise that she wasn’t going to be “just a talent winner” but a worldwide superstar. This would propel her into the spotlight, confirming her place there with a multi-platinum album. And this album is definitely one of my favourite pop/rock albums of all time, with high-spirited choruses, flawless vocals and a variety of song styles.

Breakaway starts the album off, a soft, mellow track written by Avril Lavigne. It was the fourth single and it was featured in the soundtrack to the movie The Princess Diaries 2, reaching #22 in the UK singles chart. It’s a good opener, with a long flowing chorus to set the standard, but it only goes up from here.

Since U Been Gone follows, leading us towards the new route Clarkson is going down. Her first single is pop/rock at it’s finest. This is an anthem in its own right and one of my favourite songs off the album, I remember buying the single! As she bellows “shut your mouth, I just can’t take it! Again and again and again and AGAIN!” you know she means business. The track was a huge success and her breakthrough single, peaking at #5 on the UK singles chart.

Behind These Hazel Eyes starts explosively, with a killer guitar riff and drum beat to set you up for my all-time favourite Clarkson song. Behind These Hazel Eyes was written by Kelly, as well as Max Martin and Dr. Luke who provided us with Since U Been Gone and My Life Would Suck Without You. The song did reasonably in the UK chart, peaking at#9, but, of course, I felt that it should have been higher being the second single.

Because Of You begins next, bringing you the best ballad on the album. A piano song which Clarkson wrote when she was 16, and is one of her most well-known songs around the world. Her words are deep and emotional, and her vocals are world-class as she delivers a performance anyone would be proud of. The song peaked at #7 on the UK singles chart and was the third single.

Gone starts, with an up-beat guitar riff to get you going. It provides a killer chorus to get you singing along and Gone is largely underrated with the lyrics, vocals and instruments all in a league of their own.

Addicted follows with Clarkson singing “it’s like you’re a drug” acapella before the instruments join the party. But not the kind of party you want to throw balloons about or eat cake in. Oh no, this is a dark ballad about her addiction to someone, and this is truly a brilliant song, becoming one of my favourites from the album.

Where Is Your Heart is another ballad, but with a lighter feel to it. Clarkson’s searching for feelings within her man, as she states “your love is so cold”. The song escalates to a killer bridge, and ranges from soft vocals, to belting hooks as she searches for love.

Walk Away is next, the fifth and final single from the album. A feel-good anthem which, most definitely, makes you want to sing along, especially joining in on the addictive “hey”s before shouting “just walk away”. The song did fairly well in the charts, peaking at #21, but as many people had already bought the album, by the fifth single, the sales weren’t massive.

You Found Me is up next, and has a slow, haunting verse to lead you into a rocking chorus. One of the many underrated songs by Clarkson, You Found Me is a brilliant track, worthy of making the album.

I Hate Myself For Losing You follows and gives you a soulful chorus, and edgy verses. From start to finish, Clarkson’s in your face telling you how much she shouldn’t have let you go.

Hear Me is next, another perfect song choice for Breakaway and this packs a punch. The chorus is as desperate as the song, and Clarkson is looking to be heard. But not desperate in a bad or amateur way. The energy of the song gets the point across to you.

Beautiful Disaster (Live) finishes off the main album. And what a way to do so. Beautiful Disaster can be found on Thankful, but this is a piano version of the song. And, in my opinion, the best way to play the song. The vocals are sang with the passion needed to pull it off, away from the acoustic guitar.

Miss Independent & Low are the two bonus tracks, both featured on Thankful.

Overall, this album is a classic. From start to finish, it has a polished, well-presented feel to it and Clarkson’s voice has only gotten better since her first album, Thankful. Whether you’re looking for a feel-good anthem, or a ballad you want to sob your eyes out to, this album is for you. With the album peaking at #3 on the UK chart and selling 5x Platinum here, you know that this is a complete killer album. Definitely worthy of 9/10.

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