CD: Kelly Clarkson, Breakaway

(SonyBMG)

Texas club singer Kelly Clarkson, winner of the first series of American Idol, has previous form: her debut album was a splash of bright, Aguilera-style R&B that was better than it ought to have been. She had the nous of manager Simon Fuller to thank for that, so her recent decision to split with him is interesting.

She probably had reasons for pitching her second album between Avril Lavigne and Sheryl Crow, not least the fact that guitar-based "ballsiness" sells records in the US. But will it fly in the UK? It might have if Lavigne and Crow weren't still with us, making Breakaway's beefy blasting superfluous.

The title track expresses Clarkson's novel desire to "spread my wings and learn to fly". After that, she settles into a catchy enough rut that at times - on Addicted, for instance - shows off her whisky-and-fags croak well.

Contributor

Caroline Sullivan

The GuardianTramp

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