After being crowned America’s first Idol on September 4th 2002, Kelly Clarkson had the world at her feet. And with America’s expectations so high, the weight on her shoulders was also pretty intense. With it’s release in the UK on July 7th 2003, and Clarkson being relatively unknown here, apart from her appearance on World Idol which the UK’s Pop Idol was also on, her album sales here would hardly be huge. Breakaway would be her time to shine, for now this is an album which most Brit’s would pick up after purchasing her sophomore album. But nevertheless, the album is exactly what America voted Clarkson for. Her vocals are supreme, and her writing skills are starting to show, helping pen a few tracks on the album. Thankful is a solid debut and a clear indication of things to come, and there’s no doubt that Clarkson will be around for a long time in the future.

The Trouble With Love Is is the starting track to the album, and straight away you can sense the ‘bluesy’ feel to it. It was featured in the soundtrack to Love Actually and it made it into the UK singles chart at #35.

Miss Independent is the next track, released as the first single here and was an international success, charting at #6 in the UK. It’s a fun, bouncy and catchy track that definitely has ‘feel-good anthem’ written all over it.

Low follows, which was also a single release but not here in the UK. A slower song compared to Miss Independent but still filled with quality and amazing vocals. Clarkson shows her range from softer tones to her belting out the chorus.

Some Kind Of Miracle is next, and it’s a tender ballad, with a similar bluesy vibe to it. This is a song which Clarkson can really grab hold of and drive home with her variety of vocal trills and vibratos.

What’s Up Lonely is a soft rock song with a simple arrangement of just a drum beat and the faint sound of keyboards in the background. The song is also simple, but effective.

Just Missed The Train is next, and it’s a cover of the Danielle Brisebois song. Clarkson sings it really well, as she proves that she’s a deserved winner of the series, making this song her own.

Beautiful Disaster follows next, and it’s an acoustic number which is the same as the Beautiful Disaster that’s played live on Breakaway. Although I prefer the live version, this isn’t to be discounted as it’s completely different to the piano version, and in a good way.

You Thought Wrong is the next track, and it features fellow Idol contestant Tamrya Gray. It’s clearly a ladies anthem and has ‘women power’ oozing from it.

Thankful follows and it has a slight country feel to it, with a slow guitar jam throughout. It’s clear that Clarkson can sing most genres of music, and very well as her vocals suit most styles.

Anytime is the next track, and one of my favourites off the album. It’s a huge power ballad where Clarkson’s vocals soar to new levels, saving the best for towards the end of the album. With a choir in the background, Clarkson sounds almost angelic.

A Moment Like This was Clarkson’s coronation song for her American Idol win. Many people have covered this song since, but, as with most things, the originals are the best.

Before Your Love is the final track from the album, and probably my favourite. The final 3 tracks are really worth waiting for, not that the album’s tedious, but it just gets better as it goes on. Before Your Love is a tremendous ballad, filled with long notes for Clarkson to show off the power and precision in her voice.

Overall, Thankful is a great debut album from the American Idol winner. It’s solid from start to finish, and sets Clarkson off for a great career. It even entered the UK album charts at #41. I’d give this album a good 7/10.

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