My December

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This article is about the album by Kelly Clarkson. For the song by Linkin Park, see Hybrid Theory.
My December
Studio album by Kelly Clarkson
Released June 22, 2007 (2007-06-22)
Recorded 2006–07
Genre Pop rock[1]
Length 51:39
Label RCA, 19
Producer David Kahne, Jason Halbert, Jimmy Messer
Kelly Clarkson chronology
Breakaway
(2004)
My December
(2007)
All I Ever Wanted
(2009)
Singles from My December
  1. "Never Again"
    Released: April 24, 2007 (2007-04-24)
  2. "Sober"
    Released: July 10, 2007 (2007-07-10)
  3. "One Minute"
    Released: September 22, 2007 (2007-09-22)
  4. "Don't Waste Your Time"
    Released: November 16, 2007

My December is the third studio album by American pop rock recording artist Kelly Clarkson. The album was released on June 22, 2007 throughout most of Europe (such as Germany, Ireland, Italy and the Netherlands), on June 23, 2007 in Australia, on June 25, 2007 in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Poland and Mexico, and on June 26, 2007 in North America. Clarkson confirmed the name of the album in her journal on her fanclub website on February 27, 2007. Since its release, My December has shipped one million copies in the U.S. and has been certified Platinum. It has also been certified Platinum in other countries, including Canada and Australia.[2] The album was voted as the fifth best album of 2007 by the readers of Billboard.[3] It ranked at number 53 on the Australian Year End Chart.[4] The album was heavily reviewed by critics who noted the albums deeper rock influence when compared to Clarkson's previous album Breakaway.[5]

Background[edit]

Release date[edit]

My December was released on June 26, 2007 in North America.[6] In numerous interviews and press releases, the release date for My December had been stated as July 24, 2007.[7][8][9]

Clarkson had stated on Jimmy Kimmel Live! that the release date for My December had been pushed up, in an effort to allow fans to become familiar with the album before its upcoming promotional tour.[citation needed] The tour was then cancelled on June 14, 2007, with low ticket sales being acknowledged and Clarkson noting that it was "too much too soon".[10] Clarkson rescheduled her tour to the fall of 2007 and performed in smaller venues than originally planned.[11]

The album had been put up for pre-order on iTunes on June 12, including an offer from Ticketmaster for preferred seating to the upcoming tour. However, the offer was removed after the tour was cancelled. The album itself remained available for pre-order. A deluxe edition was also released with extra songs and a making of the album video.

Internationally, the album was released on June 23, 2007[12] in Australia and June 25, 2007[13] in the United Kingdom.

Story[edit]

Clarkson began writing and composing songs for My December during her international Breakaway World Tour. In an interview, Clarkson was quoted:[14]

During this period, Clarkson wrote songs that would eventually become part of her album, My December, calling it "free therapy".[14] These feelings inspired the song "Irvine", telling of when she was in Irvine, California.[15] "Irvine" would be later used in the season five premiere episode of One Tree Hill titled "4 Years, 6 Months, 2 Days".

Conflict with record label[edit]

Prior to the album's release, sources reported that Clive Davis, the head of Sony-BMG, was dissatisfied with the album. Davis reportedly wanted Clarkson to make significant changes to the album, with some rumors claiming that he even wanted to delete the entire album, and have her record all new material. Clarkson reportedly refused to change any of the material. Initially, these reports were denied by representatives for both RCA and Clive Davis, with Davis specifically stating that Clarkson is "one of the top four artists at Sony-BMG" and wanted to ensure that she is treated as such.[16][17]

However, Clarkson later confirmed the rumors to be true. Not only did she state that Davis wanted to hold the album from being released as scheduled,[citation needed] she also stated that her label thought the album was "too negative" and dark. Clarkson has stated multiple times that she recognizes that My December may not rival the showstopping sales of Breakaway. However, she compares it to Bruce Springsteen's landmark 1982 album Nebraska, which was explicitly anti-commercial but has since gained a huge reputation of, as she said, "an artist's record".[18] Clarkson stated:[19]

Idol judge, Simon Cowell, commented on the situation in issue of Entertainment Weekly, saying:[20]

The controversy fell quiet for a brief stint, but resumed when Clarkson cancelled her tour for My December and fired her manager, Jeff Kwatinetz.[21] Interestingly, Jeff Kwatinetz had defended My December to Clarkson's label, saying:[22]

Narvel Blackstock, Reba McEntire's husband, has since been hired by Clarkson as her personal manager. In regards to her cancelled tour, disappointing ticket sales were acknowledged as a factor,[23] and Clarkson stated that it (touring) was "too much too soon".[24] Following the dismissal of her manager and cancelling her tour, Clarkson appeared in an issue of Elle Magazine, where it was revealed that Davis offered Clarkson $10 million to remove five songs from the album in favor of five more radio friendly songs of Davis' choosing — including "Black Hole" which appeared on Lindsay Lohan's album, A Little More Personal (Raw).[25] Clarkson refused the offer, and stated that:

Reba McEntire responded to the situation in the same issue, praising Clarkson:[26]

Further articles displaying Clarkson "downplaying" her label were written. In an edition of USA Weekend, Clarkson stated:[27]

Although American Idol judge Simon Cowell had sided with Clarkson earlier, it seemed he begun to grow sick of the controversy as he was quoted saying,

A few weeks after the release of My December, Clarkson publicly stated that all of the controversy regarding her "feud" with her label has been "blown way out of proportion". In a statement on her website, Clarkson stated:[29][30]

Idol controversy[edit]

Some[who?] felt that Clarkson was shunned by Davis during his appearance on the finale show of American Idol season 6, when he proceeded to promote other Idol contestants' current singles or albums, but failed to mention Clarkson's upcoming My December album, or its first single, "Never Again", and furthermore went out of his way to praise professional songwriters such as those who had written "Breakaway" and "Since U Been Gone".[31] He did, however, briefly mention that Clarkson had sold over 15 million albums worldwide to date, when discussing the current state of Idol sales.[citation needed]

In addition, she claims that she was pressured by the label to sing "Never Again" at the charity event Idol Gives Back to promote the song, saying,

Instead, Clarkson sang Patty Griffin's "Up to the Mountain (MLK Song)" at the Idol Gives Back special, getting a standing ovation, and saved "Never Again" for her appearance on the season finale show.[citation needed]

Critical and commercial reaction[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
About.com 4.5/5 stars[33]
AllMusic 3/5 stars[34]
The Boston Globe (mixed)[35]
Entertainment Weekly B+[36]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[37]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[38]
Slant Magazine 3.5/5 stars[39]
Spin (7/10)[40]
Sputnikmusic 1.5/5 stars[41]
Stylus Magazine B[42]

The first single, "Never Again", was released on April 13 in the U.S., and despite debuting in the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 thanks to strong digital sales, it never achieved substantial airplay and was pulled from many stations only a couple of weeks following its release.[citation needed] Otherwise, the album opened successfully, its opening week sales comparable to those of Clarkson's first two albums.[citation needed] It was suggested that so much controversy could hinder the sales of Clarkson's new album. M. Tye Corner of AOL music had earlier opined that the controversy could "affect sales a bit in the first few weeks and when the record c[ame] out."[43] In spite of the controversy surrounding My December, the album has garnered fairly positive reviews from professionals and critics as well.[43] The album scored 64/100 on Metacritic[44] indicating generally positive reviews. Slant Magazine reviewed My December mostly positive, with the album receiving a 3.5/5 star review. An excerpt from the review, in response to the disappointing performance of "Never Again", reads, "But who cares about hits—or appeasing the kids—when the songs are this good?"[39] The Times writes:[45] "Clarkson has the moxie to rock without worrying about what anybody else thinks... Her gift is finding the source of vitality in absolute mainstream, people-pleasing pop, which by its nature breaks stylistic rules in favor of magpie mash-ups, bold appropriations and happy accidents."

AllMusic, however, gave a more lukewarm review, giving it 3/5 stars, saying "It's what Kelly wanted to do, so on that level it's a success, and one that listeners who share her viewpoint (and quite likely her age) will respond to but for everybody else, My December is a disappointment." Commenting on Clarkson's feud with the record label, they also claim, "My December proves that both camps were correct: Davis is correct that there are no big crossover hits here, yet it's also true that this is an artistic move that Clarkson needed to make. If left up to Davis, she would simply be another vocalist singing professional product."[34] Rolling Stone, giving a similar lukewarm review, writes, "Clarkson clobbers you over the head with her emotions and arena-ready choruses. The result is a record that's bland in some spots and annoying in others."[38]

Track listings[edit]

  • All songs produced by David Kahne. All songs co-produced by Jason Halbert and Jimmy Messer.
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Never Again"   Kelly Clarkson, Jimmy Messer 3:37
2. "One Minute"   Clarkson, Kara DioGuardi, Chantal Kreviazuk, Raine Maida 3:05
3. "Hole"   Clarkson, Messer, Dwight Baker 3:02
4. "Sober"   Clarkson, Messer, Aben Eubanks, Calamity McEntire 4:52
5. "Don't Waste Your Time"   Clarkson, Messer, Malcolm Pardon, Fredrik Rinman 3:36
6. "Judas"   Clarkson, Messer, Baker 3:37
7. "Haunted"   Clarkson, Halbert, Messer 3:19
8. "Be Still"   Clarkson, Eubanks 3:25
9. "Maybe"   Clarkson, Eubanks, Messer 4:23
10. "How I Feel"   Clarkson, Messer, Baker 3:41
11. "Yeah"   Clarkson, Messer, Pardon, Rinman 2:43
12. "Can I Have a Kiss"   Clarkson, Messer, Baker 3:32
13. "Irvine" (includes hidden track "Chivas") Clarkson, Eubanks 8:47
Total length:
51:39

Credits and personnel[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

My December, in its debut, not only was one of the best selling albums of the week, but sold faster than Clarkson's previous album, Breakaway (which peaked at number three).[48] The album debuted at number two in the United States with sales of approximately 291,000 copies — a mere 6,000 copies less than Clarkson's debut hit, Thankful, sold in its first week. It came behind Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus, which sold about 326,000 copies that week.[49]

The album debuted at number two in the United Kingdom selling 40,509 copies, eventually falling to number nine in its second week, and number twenty in its third week.[50]

The album was certified platinum in the United States by RIAA on the 12 December 2007.[2] My December, made it to number 66 on the album year-end-chart of 2007,[51] while Clarkson was the sixty-third top selling artist of the year.[52]

The album debuted and peaked at number four on the Australian ARIA Charts, falling off the Top 20 in five weeks. It fell off the charts after eighteen weeks.[53]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog
Europe June 22, 2007 Sony BMG CD
Brazil CD
Australia June 23, 2007[69]
Venezuela RCA Records
United Kingdom June 25, 2007[70]
United States June 26, 2007[71] RCA Records, 19 CD, digital download
Thailand July 5, 2007[72]

Singles[edit]

"Never Again"[edit]

"Never Again" was the first single from My December worldwide. Clarkson confirmed its release on her official website on April 4, 2007[73] and debuted the song on Los Angeles 102.7 KIIS-FM's radio show "On-Air with Ryan Seacrest" on April 13, 2007. The song was released on the iTunes Store on April 20, 2007 and permanently available for sale on April 24, 2007. It debuted and peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100, but unlike her previous singles it encountered radio resistance. Despite its poor radio airplay, the song logged an impressive number of 991,000 digital downloads.[74] As of May 2010, the song has sold over one million digital downloads.

"Sober"[edit]

Clarkson confirmed "Sober" as the second single from My December on her journal in the Official Kelly Clarkson Fan Club. The song was released to airwaves on June 6, 2007. Industry experts state that "Sober" was a crucial single for Clarkson, as the lead single for My December, "Never Again", charted well due to strong digital downloads but encountered radio airplay resistance in a number of U.S. markets, especially when compared to the radio success of all five of her singles from her previous album Breakaway. "Never Again" had been descending in radio airplay after failing to break the top 20 on the Pop format, and therefore was one reason why "Sober" was released so soon after "Never Again" (just over five weeks later, and three weeks before the release of the album). Whether radio accepted "Sober" was considered key in determining the sales potential of My December. After the failure of the song (Clarkson's least successful single in the U.S. to date), sales of the My December album in the U.S. largely ceased, and no further U.S. singles from the album were released.

However, in an interview with Nashville radio station 107.5 The River, Clarkson said that she released "Sober" so early because she wanted to show the diversity of music in My December. In July 2007, "Sober" was a highlight of Clarkson's five-song set at Live Earth at Giants Stadium, with the audience audibly applauding her vocal line during the song's climax near the end. It has also been considered as a fan favorite of the album. "Sober" did have a featured spot in Clarkson's My December Tour, being played at the start of the encores and receiving a strong audience response. No music video was made for the song.

"One Minute"[edit]

"One Minute" started gaining airplay in Australia which led the label to officially release it as the second single in Australia. A CD-single was released on September 22, 2007 in Australia.[75] However, it ultimately failed to make a major dent on the charts, debuting at number 36 before quickly exiting the charts.

"Don't Waste Your Time"[edit]

Don't Waste Your Time was released as the third and final single. It was released in several European countries via iTunes in November 2007. It was released as a CD Single in Germany in December 2007. It was released in Australia in February 2008. The music video combines real images and computer animated graphics.

Chart positions[edit]

Year Single Peak positions
U.S. Hot 100 U.S. Pop CAN Hot 100 AUS UK
2007 "Never Again" 8 20 8 5 9
"Sober" 110
"Don't Waste Your Time"
"One Minute" 36

My December tour[edit]

Main article: My December Tour

Clarkson announced on her website that the My December Tour would start on July 11, 2007 in Portland, Oregon. The tour had 37 dates across the U.S. and Canada.[76] Mat Kearney was scheduled to open for her[77] and another possible special guest may have accompanied her.

However, on June 14, 2007, the tour was canceled. Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino released a statement:[78]

"Ticket sales have not been what we anticipated and we came to the realization that we had bit off more than we could chew. In the end, we are in the Kelly Clarkson business and for that reason we believe that this decision will only benefit her and her fans in the long run."

Clarkson posted a response on her official website promising a new tour would happen:[79] "I promise you that we're going to get back out there as soon as is humanly possible to give you a show that will be even better."

A new My December Tour for Fall 2007 in North America was announced on September 4, 2007 in Billboard.com and elsewhere,[80] Clarkson was scheduled to play 26 dates in 3,000-to-7,500 seat theatres rather than the previous arenas.[80] The twenty-tour city tour began in Verona, New York on October 10, 2007 and finished in Nashville, Tennessee on December 3, 2007.

When the second incarnation of the tour appeared on Ticketmaster, Jon McLaughlin was confirmed to be opening for Clarkson for the majority, if not all of her North America dates.[81]

References[edit]

  1. ^ My December at AllMusic
  2. ^ a b c RIAA Certifications by Billboard
  3. ^ 2007:Year in Music by Billboard
  4. ^ ARIA CHarts – End of Year Charts – Top 100 Albums 2006
  5. ^ http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1562780/kelly-clarkson-lp-darker-but-not-radical-departure.jhtml
  6. ^ My December Release Date! Posted June 26, 2007
  7. ^ Kelly Clarkson's 'My December' Hits On July 24, 2007 posted July 24, 2007
  8. ^ Kelly Clarkson's My December Gets July Release Date posted May 08, 2007
  9. ^ New Clarkson Album Arriving In Late July by Jonathan Cohen, posted May 8, 2007
  10. ^ Clarkson Expresses Regret Over Davis Feud by Jonathan Cohen, posted July 23, 2007
  11. ^ "Kelly Clarkson revives her tour". USA Today. September 4, 2007. Retrieved May 19, 2010. 
  12. ^ Sony BMG Music Entertainment Australia My December Page
  13. ^ Sony BMG Music UK My December Page
  14. ^ a b Kelly's Big Gamble by Mary Murphy, posted July 15, 2007
  15. ^ Clarkson Writes About Worst Night In a Toilet posted May 21, 2007
  16. ^ Kelly to Clive: Shove It TMZ Retrieved on 05-08-07
  17. ^ Rumors Surround New Kelly Clarkson Album AOL Retrieved on 5-11-06
  18. ^ "Kelly in Control", EW.com.
  19. ^ Elle Cover Story: Kelly Clarkson pg. 6
  20. ^ Simon Defends Kelly, EW.com.
  21. ^ "Kelly Clarkson Fires Manager", Usmagazine.com, June 12, 2007.
  22. ^ Kelly Clarkson and the Bubble Gum Machine by Craig Marks, posted August 2007
  23. ^ Mike Bruno, "Clarkson Postpones Summer Tour", EW.com, June 14, 2007.
  24. ^ Emily Fromm, "Kelly Clarkson Tour Shelved – For Now", People.com, June 14, 2007.
  25. ^ Clive Davis Really Hates Kelly Clarkson by Alyk, posted July 15th, 2007
  26. ^ Elle Cover Story: Kelly Clarkson pg. 5
  27. ^ Kelly's Big Gamble
  28. ^ Cowell Advises Clarkson to End Feud
  29. ^ "Kelly Clarkson Speaks Out on Clive Davis 'Feud'", People.com, July 23, 2007.
  30. ^ Special Announcement by Kelly Clarkson
  31. ^ "Clive's Speech Ain't Music to Kelly's Ears", TMZ, May 24, 2007.
  32. ^ Elle Cover Story: Kelly Clarkson pg. 7
  33. ^ About.com review
  34. ^ a b My December at AllMusic
  35. ^ The Boston Globe review
  36. ^ Entertainment Weekly review
  37. ^ The Guardian review
  38. ^ a b Rolling Stone review
  39. ^ a b Slant Magazine review
  40. ^ Spin review
  41. ^ Sputnikmusic review
  42. ^ Stylus Magazine review
  43. ^ a b Nekesa Mumbi Moody, "Drama Accompanies New Clarkson Album", Associated Press (The Washington Post), June 27, 2007.
  44. ^ Critic reviews at Metacritic
  45. ^ Kelly Clarkson Releases Album #3 'My December' This Saturday posted June 20, 2007
  46. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/my-december/id521261320
  47. ^ http://www.hmv.co.jp/en/artist_Kelly-Clarkson_000000000209936/item_My-December_2569664
  48. ^ Clarkson's Journal Entry for July 3, 2007
  49. ^ Jonathan Cohen, "Cyrus Sidesteps Clarkson To Debut At No1", Billboard.com, July 4, 2007.
  50. ^ a b BBC Radio Top 40 Albums
  51. ^ Billboard Charts - Year-end Albums - The Billboard 200
  52. ^ Billboard Charts - Year-end Top Artists - The Billboard 200 Artists
  53. ^ Australian ARIA Chart by Australian charts
  54. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Steffen Hung. "Kelly Clarkson - My December". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2012-03-02. 
  55. ^ Canada Top 100 JAM! Music SoundScan Charts
  56. ^ Czech Republic Top 50 by IFPI
  57. ^ Estonia Top 100, Finland Top 100
  58. ^ Germany Album Top 50 MTV Germany
  59. ^ Greece Music Charts at the Wayback Machine (archived August 5, 2007)
  60. ^ Irish Top 50 Singles
  61. ^ Japan Charts
  62. ^ Poland Top 50
  63. ^ Taiwan 5-music Chart
  64. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2007 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved March 10, 2012. 
  65. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Kelly Clarkson – My December". Music Canada. Retrieved March 10, 2012. 
  66. ^ "Irish album certifications – Kelly Clarkson – My December". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved March 10, 2012. 
  67. ^ "British album certifications – Kelly Clarkson – My December". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved September 3, 2013.  Enter My December in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  68. ^ "American album certifications – Kelly Clarkson – My December". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved March 10, 2012.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  69. ^ "My December" Release and Information in Australia. SonyBMG.com.au. Retrieved July 16, 2007.
  70. ^ "My December" Release and Information in the United Kingdom. SonyBMGMusic.co.uk. Retrieved July 16, 2007.
  71. ^ "My December" Release and Information in the United States. SonyMusicStore.com. Retrieved July 16, 2007
  72. ^ Kelly Clarkson – My December
  73. ^ Listen to "Never Again" Here. KellyClarkson.com. Retrieved August 24, 2007
  74. ^ "Kelly Clarkson Apologizes to Clive Davis". FOXNews.com. Retrieved July 24, 2007.
  75. ^ New Single!
  76. ^ My December Tour!!! posted: 4.26.07
  77. ^ Mat Kearney Official Site
  78. ^ Kelly Clarkson's tour cancelled
  79. ^ Clarkson Postpones Summer Tour
  80. ^ a b Jonathan Cohen (2007-09-04). "Kelly Clarkson Unveils Fall Tour Plans". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  81. ^ Jon McLaughlin gears up for solo tour and guest spot with Kelly Clarkson - Music