Rolling Stone - p.1603 stars out of 5
- "[The] style works for Clarkson: She comes off more Avril than Ashlee..."
With 2003's THANKFUL, Kelly Clarkson proved that her AMERICAN IDOL win was no fluke by putting out a solid album of gospel-influenced R&B performed with the panache of a seasoned veteran. In late 2004, the Texas native delivered on the promise of her sophomore record's title, BREAKAWAY, by diving headfirst into alternative-rock-flavored pop of the Avril Lavigne/Michelle Branch variety. Though there are still a few R&B-inspired moments here ("Because of You" is a soulful, string-laced ballad in the best Mariah Carey tradition), most of the album has a much harder edge than fans of THANKFUL would likely expect. In other spots, Clarkson goes the moody chanteuse route, particularly on "Addicted," where she channels the spooky melancholy of Fiona Apple with surprising conviction. Clarkson herself co-writes several songs on the disc, which, combined with the record's unexpected musical variety, suggests a talented vocalist coming into her own as an artist as well as a performer.