Kelly Clarkson

All I Ever Wanted

Judging by the tone of “My Life Would Suck Without You,” the first single and opening track of Kelly Clarkson’s new All I Ever Wanted, the first-season “American Idol” winner was anxious to get back to business.

The high-adrenalin song vaulted to No. 1, exploding to the top with a combustible brew of humor, hook and hyperactive rhythm.

However, the subsequent track on the release, “I Do Not Hook Up,” is another flurry of almost desperate, albeit effective, rock/dance mania — indicating that explosiveness is the business plan for Clarkson, one of few “Idol” contestants to show any semblance of truly being an idol.

All I Ever Wanted is filled with high-octane moments, whether the singer is packaging herself as a more palatable Pink with the blistering rock sass of “Whyyawannabringmedown” and the whip-whirling electricity of “If I Can’t Have You,” or just blowing up in emotion as she incredulously bellows through unthinkable heartbreak on “Cry” and freaks out that her lover’s eyes are open when he kisses her on “Don’t Let Me Stop You” (“If you wanna leave, baby, you can leave!”).

Clarkson also indulges in experimentation, snaking along like a burning fuse to the powder-keg climax of the title track, for instance, and taking eccentric jags through girl-group dynamics on the amped-up “I Want You” and bouncy “Ready.”

But as long as she continues to deftly dish out stately ballads such as the serious closer “If No One Will Listen” and the sweet “Already Gone,” she’ll keep fans happy as she follows her muse.

All I Ever Wanted achieves a rare blend of glossy, commercial production with soulful belting and howling that somehow doesn’t seem too manipulative.

And most persuasive, the feeling that Clarkson’s confidence won’t be deterred.

Chuck Campbell, SHNS