Tween troubles

By SHARON STEEL  |  July 9, 2007

Kelly was rooting for winner Jordin Sparks in the final round of this year’s American Idol competition: she said she enjoyed the way Jordin was passionate without being jaded. How predictably exasperating that she would choose to champion someone who lacks the cynicism she herself has worked so hard to cultivate. “Irvine,” a blues-folk hymnal that draws comparisons with Cat Power, is the best track on My December. “Why is it so hard?” she quietly asks God over a lap steel guitar. “Why can’t you just take me?” Why, indeed. Why couldn’t the rest of the disc exhibit the same sad and oddly optimistic beauty? Why couldn’t Kelly have done herself justice? By shutting everyone out in favor of flooding My December with a swaggering, self-righteous vindication, is she telling the stories she wants to tell? She may grow to regret it later. Perhaps she already does. One can only assume she wouldn’t be praying for answers if she really thought she knew it all.

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