The Bottom Line
This is the point where Kelly Clarkson leaves American Idol in the dust and firmly establishes herself as one of the top pop-rock female vocalists in the business. Wisely teaming up with veteran producer David Kahne, Clarkson proves "Since U Been Gone" was no fluke and that, in fact, continual growth as an artist is a reality. This deserves to be one of the top hit singles of the first half of 2007.
Listen to "Never Again."
- Powerful rock vocal
- Emotional intensity
- Exhilarating production
- Lack of a strong chorus
- Chiming guitar intro
- Arresting vocal contrast between subdued intro and all stops out refrain
- Harmonizing backing chorus
- Intense, exposed bridge
Guide Review - Kelly Clarkson - Never Again
"Since U Been Gone" was, and remains, a brilliant highlight in Kelly Clarkson's recording career thus far. However, since its release, it has been difficult to decide whether its impressive rock chops were really part of an ongoing commitment to the genre or simply Clarkson coming up with a happy accident that managed to triangulate the tastes of punk pop, traditional rock, and mainstream pop fans. "Never Again" telegraphs that she is serious about rock and proving her commitment although she is not going to leave the pop world behind.
"Never Again's" producer David Kahne is responsible for over 2 decades of pop-rock classics from seminal work with the Bangles ("Manic Monday," "Walk Like an Egyptian," "Going Down to Liverpool") to more recent production efforts for the Strokes. On "Never Again" he lets the power of Kelly Clarkson's vocals take flight while introducing elements like a killer breakdown bridge and background harmonies that give the song a timeless feel.
Lyrically, "Never Again" has a bit of a cookie cutter feel as far as scorned woman tunes go. Kelly Clarkson doesn't approach the visceral impact of Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats." However, she does manage to convey a serious warning without sounding on the edge of breakdown. "Never Again" is a song of strength and power. With her approach on this song, Kelly Clarkson proves she is not just a technically talented singer, she is a truly gifted pop-rock vocalist.