She said She said

Abbey’s Choice:

Kelly Clarkson’s “Piece By Piece”

What Abbey said:

Bouncing back into the pop music circuit with her latest studio album, “Piece By Piece,” Kelly Clarkson is at it again. Propelled forward by a series of marching snare drum beats, the title track “Piece By Piece” starts the album off on the right foot. Clarkson’s heartwrenching lyrics, “I traveled 1,500 miles to see you / Begged you to want me, but you didn’t want to,” resembles the composition of any classic, explosive heartbreak manifesto. Realistically though, not all songs manage to pack such a huge punch. The track, “Dance With Me” sounds like your typical upbeat pop song, and somewhat resembles Pink’s “Blow Me (One Last Kiss).”   Fortunately, the album’s last track, “Good Goes the Bye” ends everything with a bang, proving once again that what doesn’t kill Clarkson will  never fail to make her musical work even stronger.

Abbey’s Rating: 3.5/5 Stars 

What Ana said:

Kelly Clarkson’s seventh studio album, “Piece by Piece,” is proof that Clarkson is still as talented as ever, but needs to break away from her comfort zone. The sound of the album fails to live on the edge and can undermine the potential of Clarkson’s vocals. Throughout the album, the sound is energized and empowering, but if you have heard one track, you have heard every one on the album. Clarkson and John Legend feature their own cover of “Run, Run, Run,” by Tokio Hotel. While it was an exceptional cover, it only further emphasizes the need for new material in Clarkson’s musical career. History aside, Clarkson showcases her ability to hit difficult notes and empowers others through her emotionally compelling lyrics. “Piece by Piece” is enthralling and vigorously upbeat, but Clarkson will still need to do more if she wants to stay relevant in the pop world.

Ana’s Rating: 3/5 Stars

Ana’s Choice:

Brandi Carlile’s “The Firewatcher’s Daughter”

What Ana said: 

Brandi Carlile has returned, blowing all of her previous albums out of the water with her newest composition,  “The Firewatcher’s Daughter.” Carlile tries not to limit herself to specific genres, but the country–quality in her voice refuses to disappear. In “The Firewatcher’s Daughter,” Carlile embraces her country voice while mixing classic rock n’ roll guitar chords to create her own original sound. “The Eye” stood out as an almost acapella–sounding track with soft acoustics to compliment Carlile’s voice. The only flaw in her musical style is her choice in lyrics. In her song “Wherever is Your Heart,” she sings “Wherever is your heart I call home,” which does not stick out as an empowering lyric. Carlile is an artist who has just started to take advantage of her potential and create her own style.

Ana’s Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

What Abbey said:

Cranking out 12 songs in a series of single takes with longtime collaborators Tim and Phil Hanseroth, Brandi Carlile has composed a cunning fifth studio album, “The Firewatcher’s Daughter.” Starting off with the heart–wrenching spirit of the appropriately named track,“Where is Your Heart,” Carlile sings a nostalgic ballad of traveling, love and family. From the very beginning, “The Firewatcher’s Daughter” deals with  vivid, big picture themes more than any of Carlile’s previous albums. My favorite track, “Murder In The City,” is essentially a cover of the Avett Brothers’ song with added life and a faster tempo than the original. This beautiful rendition, with some slight lyric changes, brings the album back to the theme of family and the love for her wife and daughter. Overall, “The Firewatcher’s Daughter” is definitely worth lending an ear to.

Abbey’s Rating: 3/5 Stars