The giving season’s far from over, as Kelly Clarkson‘s finally unleashed her 8-track iTunes Sessions EP today on iTunes, which includes fantastic live performances of both signature anthems (“Since U Been Gone,” “My Life Would Suck Without You”) and cuts from Stronger, including “Mr. Know It All,” “You Can’t Win,” and title track “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger).”
My personal favorite of the bunch is Clarkson’s acoustic take on her 2007 hit “Never Again” (listen above), which strips back the crashing drums and scowling guitars of the original and relies instead on a single gorgeous piano melody, turning the song from a fire ‘n’ brimstone anthem into something much more vulnerable. It’s utterly chilling–and ten times better than the original, in my opinion.
Her cover of “Why Don’t You Try,” originally recorded by Eric Hutchinson and included as an iTunes bonus track from Stronger, is another major highlight–as Clarkson powerfully belts out the soulful “The Trouble With Love Is”-esque ballad with nearly studio version accuracy (or rather, it’s superior to the studio version.)
There’s even an in-depth interview (over a half hour long!) included, in which Kelly discusses her decision to sign with her label, her writing, her involvement in the recording process, and her thoughts on her individual records. She even picks the 5 Kelly Clarkson songs she’d give to someone on their iPod: “Because Of You,” “Walk Away,” “Irvine,” “You Love Me” and “Beautiful Disaster (Live).” Amazing!
Clarkson’s iTunes Session EP was released on December 27. (iTunes)