The Bottom Line
Borrowing from Friedrich Nietzsche's statement, "That which does not kill us makes us stronger," Kelly Clarkson unleashes an uptempo empowerment anthem for recovering from bad relationships. The song is in the mode of her smash hit "Since U Been Gone." It is perfect for pop radio and a great showcase for her stellar vocals.
- Words of empowerment
- Rousing uptempo melody
- Kelly Clarkson's powerful vocals
- Similarity to past hits
- Written by Jörgen Elofsson, Ali Tamposi, David Gamson, and Greg Kurstin
- Produced by Greg Kurstin
- Released January 2012 by RCA
Guide Review - Kelly Clarkson - "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)"
"Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" kicks off with an almost bitter statement, "You know the bed feels warmer sleeping here alone...," but there is no pitiful wallowing. It isn't long before Kelly Clarkson breaks into the rousing chorus, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!" Vocally the song explodes with a statement of personal power after the end of a negative relationship.
Swedish songwriter Jorgen Elofsson was a co-writer of "A Moment Like This," Kelly Clarkson's coronation song from American Idol that became her first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. He returns to work with her here, and he is a master of anthemic song structure. The producer is Grammy nominated Greg Kurstin. Among his best known recent work is production of Lily Allen's album It's Not Me, It's You and Sia's We Are Born. The driving guitar sound on the chorus gives the words even more impact than they would have in a simple pop chorus. Kelly Clarkson's vocals range from focused intimacy on the chorus to a throaty shout by the end of the song.
There has been much discussion about whether it would have made most sense to launch "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" as the first single from the Stronger album. It could have put Kelly Clarkson at the top of the pop singles chart, but "Mr. Know It All" was a strong single in its own right and demonstrated well received versatility. This single was a bit slow out of the box commercially, but it is now picking up steam at pop radio and in sales due to a range of Kelly Clarkson public appearances. Don't miss this song. It is one of Kelly Clarkson's strongest, pun intended.