Photo credit: RCA Records
Release Date: 03/21/2009
Follow Kelly Clarkson
While she is an obvious success, her journey wasn’t always easy. She signed an incredibly long recording contract after winning the show and was was meant to be used a prop to garner more money. Unfortunately for them, Clarkson wanted to be a real artist. Her second album, Breakaway, solidified her as a real artist and dropped any stigma that may have been attached to her from winning a “Reality TV series.”
After winning a handful of Grammys and headlining an even more successful tour; Kelly wanted to release her follow-up record, My December, and was met with backlash from RCA President, Clive Davis and the PR campaign prior to its release essentially killed the record. The label planted a story stating that they “begged” Kelly to remove a handful of tracks from the record in favor of a more radio friendly sound. Long story short, she did not win the battle. The album, while debuting at #2 on the Billboard 200 (beaten by Hannah Montana (lol)) and spawning a #1 single, Never Again, was DOA.
Fast forward 2 years and RCA got their way. Kelly released her 4th studio album, All I Ever Wanted. A record that was jam-packed with radio-friendly singles, also hosting on of her most successful songs to date, My Life Would Suck Without You. The second single, I Do Not Hook Up, was written by (at that time) rising star, Katy Perry. The song clearly had one intention, mainstream success.
The song is essentially an “anti” anything currently happening in pop culture at that time (2009). The world was getting a little more sl***y and Kelly Clarkson was used to present an alternative, which is great. We all need representation; but it had a similar feeling to P!nks’ “Stupid Girls.” It essentially slung insults (an early Katy Perry trademark) at a marginalized group of people in hopes of garnering the “I’m not a regular girl!” vibe. I do not like that and I did hook up. So, it seemed like a strange approach; almost like they didn’t acknowledge that her fanbase was growing up and finding their own.
I do not hook up, up
I go slow
So if you want me, I don’t come cheap
Keep your hand in my hand and your heart on your sleeve
I cannot lie, the song “sounds” like a hit and anything Kelly sings sounds like it came straight from Gods’ mouth; but the content is just… I don’t know. There is a way to make a point without insulting anyone else for not doing just that. No one was making it harder for “classy” girls by wanting to take control of their own journey.
With that said, the rest of the album is an absolute master piece.