Several tracks offer positive takes on romance. Despite its title, “My Life Would Suck Without You” describes two people who’ve committed to each other even though their relationship has some rough edges. “I Do Not Hook Up” informs would-be suitors that Kelly’s looking for a lasting commitment, not a casual fling. She also recognizes how alcohol can cloud a woman’s judgment (“Oh sweetheart, put the bottle down”). On “If I Can’t Have You” the singer knows she’s found what she’s looking for. “Long Shot” acknowledges the risk involved with a new romantic endeavor. “I Want You” unabashedly repeats that sentiment over and over. Apart from those songs, eight of 14 tracks deal with broken romantic relationships. Those songs generally strike a more somber, reflective tone. Several demonstrate self-respect and emotional resiliency even when things aren’t working out (“Don’t Let Me Stop You,” “All I Ever Wanted,” “Whyyawannabringmedown”). The only song that doesn’t deal with romance, “If No One Will Listen,” finds Kelly encouraging a struggling friend to relinquish pent-up fears.
Three times, “Whyyawannabringmedown” repeats “Is it too much to give a d–n?” “If No One Will Listen” misuses God’s name. Playful rebellion turns up on “If I Can’t Have You” (“You can break all these rules/If you wanna have some fun”). That track also includes a mildly sensual description of a kiss (“Forgive these eyes, these lips you’re tasting/No time to waste on an invitation”). Despite its generally positive messages, “I Do Not Hook Up” does include these not-so-praiseworthy instructions: “This may not last/ … So love the one you’re with.”
The first American Idol champ is back with another bubblegum blast of infectious pop rock as she sings songs written by Katy Perry, OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, Kara DioGuardi and Dr. Luke. Romantic relationships—the good, the bad and the dysfunctional—are the name of the game here. More songs than not detail romance gone awry. But, for the most part, even those songs offer a reasonably healthy perspective when love doesn’t go as planned. A couple instances of mild profanity and sensuality are this disc’s biggest shortcomings.
After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.