The disc scores points for its emotional vulnerability. Clarkson longs to give her heart away to a man she can trust (“Yeah”). Such cautious yearning also shows up on “Can I Have a Kiss” and “Sober” (on which she proudly resists chemical painkillers). “Irvine” expresses loneliness and desperation in an achingly sincere prayer to God. The singer holds out hope for fresh starts and happier times on “Be Still” and “Maybe.”
She angrily describes giving her body to an ex on “Don’t Waste Your Time.” Suggestive language turns “Yeah” into a sexual proposition. Profanities dot the lyrical landscape of “Hole” (a cynical emotional meltdown) and “Never Again” (a malicious rant at a now-married lover). “How I Feel” jealously chafes at the happiness of others. A jilted woman claims to favor whiskey over intimacy, telling her former partner, “You are crap!” (“Chivas”).
Shrugging off the hit-makers who advised her before, Clarkson insisted on doing My December her way. Once bristling with sharp pop hooks, her songs have grown moodier, angrier and more raw—proof that overnight celebrity isn’t a one-way ticket to peace and happiness.
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.