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New Reviews: Kelly Clarkson's 'Stronger' Is Formulaic But Impressive

Also: Stream new music by Tom Waits, R.E.M., Coldplay, T.I., Justice and more

October 25, 2011 9:00 AM ET
Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson
Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Clear Channel

In this week's slate of Rolling Stone reviews, Jody Rosen hails Kelly Clarkson's new album, Stronger, as a fine if somewhat formulaic showcase for her powerhouse vocal chops. Also, Will Hermes praises Tom Waits' latest masterpiece, Bad As Me, and Surfer Blood's poppy new EP, Tarot Classics, and Jon Dolan salutes the final single from the recently disbanded R.E.M..

ALBUMS

Kelly Clarkson - Stronger (stream one song)

Tom Waits - Bad As Me (stream one song)

Deer Tick - Divine Providence (stream one song)

Justice - Audio, Video, Disco (stream full album)

Surfer Blood - Tarot Classics (stream one song)

Joe Jonas - Fastlife (stream one song)

Coldplay - Mylo Xyloto (stream one song)

Nick Lowe - The Old Magic (stream one song)

Mayer Hawthorne - How Do You Do (stream one song)

SONGS

R.E.M. "We All Go Back to Where We Belong" (stream)

Florence and the Machine "Shake It Out" (stream)

T.I. "I'm Flexin'" (stream)

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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