It is time to rejoice! Why? Because after two years of waiting, Kelly Clarkson‘s eighth studio album, Meaning Of Life, has officially arrived in its full glory here on this spectacular #NewMusicFriday!
Sure, yes, there are also notable releases from Rachel Platten and my boyfriends Majid Jordan today (October 27), but we’re not going to worry about those – we’re going to keep the focus solely on our beloved American Idol Queen, deservedly so. The album is her very first under Atlantic Records after successfully completing her recording contract with RCA Records last year.
On Meaning Of Life, Kelly delivers on her promise to finally give us a fully unapologetic, soulful record that she is proud of. She’s gone bigger, louder, classic, and completely defiant on her joyous and uplifting eighth go-around. The whole collection actually deserves your full undivided attention, from lead single “Love So Soft” to “Whole Lotta Woman” to “Don’t You Pretend,” but for those in search of some instant tracks to indulge, look no further than these five must-listens from Meaning Of Life. And then listen to all of it, no excuses.
“Meaning Of Life“: Kelly‘s no stranger to supplying us uplifting lovey-dovey anthems — see “Heartbeat Song” — and she continues to do so in on the album’s center piece, title track “Meaning of Life,” produced by Jesse Shatkin. There are plenty of earworm melodies and a soaring chorus (“You show me the meaning of life/ Meaning of life, life, life, life“), but the best part, obviously, is the way Kelly is just letting loosing throughout and just providing the kind of pipes we’ve come to expect from Kellegend Clarkson.
“Move You“: As the first real ballad of the album, “Move You” is a triumphant display of Kelly‘s genuinely soulful and classic-feeling vocal ability with its truly moving chorus that thoroughly sets the tone for what lies ahead. Vulnerable but unapologetically romantic, she lays down all the feels across a slow-building, R&B-leaning production. This is the Kellegend love-making jam we’ve all been waiting for.
“Medicine“: “Medicine” is a satisfying, funky rush of Kelly‘s signature belting, full of sassy and confident declarations of independence. “I ain’t even thinkin’ ’bout you/ Don’t talk about ya/ Almost forgot about you/ Said, I ain’t even thinkin’ ’bout you/ I ain’t even thinkin’ ’bout you,” Kelly declares, serving shimmering shades of ’90’s Mariah Carey in the process. Kelly‘s always had a no-fucks approach in her post-breakup game, and here she certainly isn’t holding back here.
“I Don’t Think About You“: “It used to bother me, thought I could never leave/ After all that I’ve been through, nothin’ left to prove/ No, no, no, I don’t think about you/ Weighing down on me/ I lost my sanity/ And now that we are through, nothin’ left to lose/ No, no, no, I don’t think about you.” Ouch. That chorus alone is an absolute monster – tell us how you really feel Kelly! “I Don’t Think About You” finds Kelly diving deep into ballad mode as she recalls a relationship where she lost her “sanity” atop gorgeous cinematic textures and gorgeous piano melodies — even giving us some straight-up gospel moments, channeling a bit of Adele and Sam Smith.
“Go High“: Meaning Of Life comes to a triumphant conclusion in the form of “Go High,” co-crafted alongside Maureen “Mozella” McDonald, and Jesse Shatkin. It’s here in the album’s final moments that she truly blows with all her might, and it’s a beautiful killer that doubles as a Michelle Obama-inspired life mantra. “When you go low, I go high, I go high, I go high/ When you go low, I go high, to get by, to get by/ Sometimes I don’t wanna be nice/ But I try (but I try)/ When you go low, I go high,” she belts with all her might on the chant-ready hook. Consider this as your new anthem of life, life, life.
Okay, you get the gist? Go listen to the whole thing… NOW!