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“The Trouble With Love Is” considers the ups and downs of romance (“Love may be a many splendored thing ... [But] it can tear you up inside/ Make your heart believe a lie”). Clarkson falls hard for a guy she calls “Some Kind of Miracle,” and is amazed at how a man could corral the heart of “Miss Independent.” “A Moment Like This” and “Before Your Love” also express sincere devotion. “Thankful” appreciates a man’s sensitivity and sweetness. The singer handles life’s trials maturely, demanding respect from a partner (“You Thought Wrong”), putting a two-timer in his place (“Low”) and bidding farewell to the blues (“What’s Up Lonely”).“Anytime” is an invitation for her man to lean on her for support (“Baby, cast all of your cares, cast them all on me ... I’m on your side”).
Thousands of fame-seekers (some more talented than others) competed for a lone recording contract during American Idol’s first season. Trilling Texan Kelly Clarkson was the survivor. Musically similar to Christina Aguilera, 21-year-old Clarkson boasts a soulful pop groove with safe lyrics unlikely to generate criticism from anyone—except maybe Simon. A solid debut.