The Clarkson version of "All I Ever Wanted" is a rock-pop rock song set in common time composed in a moderate tempo of 120 beats per minute. written in G minor. The cover version has a vocal range from the tone of F3 to the note of E♭5. Critical reviews by contemporary music critics have been generally positive. Los Angeles Times declared "The title track evokes the soul-rock fusions of Timbaland and Rihanna". Jon Dolan, from Blender magazine noted on the album review: 'Sometimes her vocal oomph gets reduced or technologically fuzzed [...] But she ably sinks her chops into a Franz Ferdinand funk groove on “All I Ever Wanted” '. Sarah Rodman, from The Boston Globe, wrote: '"I Do Not Hook Up" and the title song instantly lodge in the brain, even as their bittersweet sentiments drip a bit of acid". Evan Sawdey, PopMatters reviewer, says, "Though some of the post-breakup bitterness of My December still lingers here (most notably on the storming title track), "All I Ever Wanted" remains a remarkably upbeat record, which, in turn, plays to Clarkson’s strengths".