If you’re a teen or close-to-teen sensation fond of peels of pristinely produced power-pop guitar and lyrics that hint vaguely (or not so vaguely) at romps you’ve had with fellow stars, you have a certain favorite month. So, what is that month? Is it October? Um, no, totes boring. Is it November? Getting warmer (or cooler) but still not where it’s at. The best month for poetic symbolism? The kind you scrawl in your lyric notebook while wearing a single fingerless lace glove, perhaps? It appears to be December.
The Rolling Stones once referred to themselves as December’s Children, the partial title of their fifth album and a way to point out their wintry, difficult, rebel-may-care cool, as opposed to the Beatles spring-time, lovesick happiness. It seems that December has been similarly reclaimed in teen-pop circles, as shorthand for a time of regret, or difficulty or breaking away from what you know.
It all started with Kelly Clarkson’s album, “My December.” To refresh your memory, Clarkson’s 2007 follow-up to her multiplatinum “Breakaway,” which carried the smash hit “Since U Been Gone,” was mired in difficulty. Vying for more control of her career, Clarkson famously clashed with label grandpapa Clive Davis, split with her management and had to cancel her tour, due to low ticket sales. The album may have been a bit hexed from the start: Clarkson wrote the batch of 13 songs at what she describes as a personal low point, crashing hard from months of demanding touring. And surely, as anyone who’s spent any time in Irvine, knows, naming a song after such a locale would be curse enough. At any rate, one could imagine that “My December” has become synonymous with “Wow, I wouldn’t like to do that again” in the Davis and Clarkson households.