I was very excited to hear that KC had a new CD coming out. Now that I’ve listened to My December a few times, I’ll let you in on a little secret: It’s not my favourite.
Alright, maybe that’s not really a secret, as her tour has been canceled, the first single Never Again peaked at #8 on the charts, and all of the other hullabaloo going on with her right now. I bought the CD the day it came out and listened to it with great anticipation. After listening to it once, I put it on top of my player and did not listen to it again for a week. That is not a good sign. When Breakaway came out, I listened to that CD every day commuting to work for 9 weeks straight. That’s how much I loved it. After thinking about why I didn’t want to listen to My December, I discovered why.
I had no desire to listen to it, as the songs feigned a depth that was really just a turtle-shaped kiddie pool of despair and bleakness. This is not to say that I don’t enjoy good old female darkness. Hell, Jagged Little Pill is still one of my favourite albums, and whenever I want to unwind, I listen to Fumbling Toward Ecstasy or Surfacing from the queen or sorrowful goodness, Sarah McLachlan. But Kelly’s darkness, well, it insists upon itself. Yeah yeah, there’s a hole. Yeah, I know: Never Again will you kiss him, or want to, or whatever else you NEVER AGAIN want to do. Or Maybe, Maybe, Maybe MAYBE MAYBE PLEASE STOP SAYING THAT WORD!
The other thing that bothers me is that the melodies lack appeal to sing along with and listen to over and over and over. Thankful and Breakaway mastered the melody, with Breakaway being awarded a Grammy for these efforts. There is no reason that edgier aka “more artistic” lyrics have to be set to obscure and strained melodies. (Cynthia sums it up best here.) Jagged Little Pill had amazing melodies and vocals. Sarah McLachlan’s melodies can make you cry in concert. (That’s just me? Oh…) When I try to remember the songs on My December, I can’t. The melodies are forgotten that easily. They don’t stick.
And the bottom line is, if they don’t stick, you’re not going to remember them when you are at the music store looking to buy some music.
Sorry, Kelly. I gotta say it like it is.