"It's rock & roll, baby," she says excitedly of the sound, before adding with a huge smile, "It's pop as well, obviously. I'm not Metallica -- but it is more rock, and it's a little deeper. It's very rock, and it's very cool."
Helping her dig deep are an array of producers and writers, including Clif Magness and Rhett Lawrence, both of whom return from Clarkson's chart-topping debut, Thankful. Also on board are former Evanescence guitarist Ben Moody and Kara Dioguardi, who has written songs for Ashlee Simpson, Marc Anthony and Kylie Minogue.
With all the talent involved, Clarkson and Co. are having a difficult time pairing down the material. "We're still picking tracks right now," she says. "We've got so many songs, we're just picking our favorites."
Clarkson is anxious to wrap up the process so she can return to the road. "I'll be touring right after the album comes out," says the former American Idol champion. "I think people know that when I perform live, I usually win the audience over."
To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here
MUSIC 9 Classic Devo Videos
OLYMPICS 18 Epic Opening Ceremonies