Rejoice! Kelly Clarkson has a new single!
Quick question: Did you ever wonder what would happen if Pat Benatar had a younger sister?
Well, wonder no more. "Lil' Patty" (or is that "Baby Benny?") has now been revealed to be Kelly Clarkson.
Need proof? Just go listen to "Never Again," the new single that was just released today. (Much to my excitment, I assure you!)
Once again, Kelly's angry. Andrew made a good point that on her last album, only "Breakway" and "You Found Me" are even remotely positive. Otherwise, it's all "you'll never see the tears I've cried because of you, that I've cried since u been gone, that I 've cried behind my hazel eyes while pondering the beautiful disaster from which I must now walk away."
But a girl gets pissed, you know? I mean, homeslice named her upcoming album "My December." She's cold; she's tormented; she's telling you all about it.
But with Alanis about to headline at Caroline's Comedy Club, I'm happy to let Kay-Clacka (what? she needs a nickname! I can't just say "Clarkson" over and over, and I refuse to call her "Kelly" until we're BFF) be our new dark queen of pop. You know, along with Amy Lee.
There's no denying the influence of Evanescence-style, gothically dramatic grunge on "Never Again." I'd even say the song is alternative rock, which is a striking departure from the rock-pop of the "Breakaway" album. But the single still has poppy influences.
Listen to how high up in the mix Clarkson's vocals are. Many harder rock songs are produced to push the guitar and drums to the fore, letting the vocal get absorbed in a wall of raging sound.
It's the hallmark of a pop song when the singer is placed so obviously in front of the band. (So guess what kind of song that makes "It's Not Over!" Snap, Mr. Rock Face!)
The vocal mixing on "Never Again" is really reminiscent of Pat Benatar's hits, which give pop diva grandeur to a rock sound. And there's not a thing wrong with that. We need to hear these women, right?
And Clarkson's hitting high notes in "Never Again" that sound exactly like the ones Pat Benatar busts out in "Heartbreaker" and "Invincible," slight warble and all.
If you know the overlooked Benatar classic "All Fired Up," maybe you'll agree with me that K.C.'s new one sounds like a cousin, what with the crunchy bass and the ominous drums. Granted, "All Fired Up" is really positive and rebellious, but the structure is similar.
All in all, I say good job Kelly (okay, I guess we're BFF now). Way to keep your music interesting and surprising without giving up your affinity for catchy hooks!