Photo credit: Atlantic Records
Release Date: 04/14/2023
Label: Kelly Clarkson under exclusive to Atlantic Records
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It’s pretty obvious to tell that Ear Worms is a big fan of Kelly Clarkson; she is the original American Idol and is the one winner who has successfully transformed into a powerhouse entertainer. From her insanely successful day time talk show to her Billboard success, she is the only “reality star” that has crossed over, and it’s easy to tell why. She is an authentic, funny, relatable person who has things to say.
Unfortunately for women of pop, the fandoms almost wait and pray for a relationship downfall to get that ever-rare “Divorce album.” We have received a few of these the past fews, from Kasey Musgraves’ “Star Crossed” and Adeles “31,” we have been feeding off of these women’s pain in hopes of receiving those power-ballad with those insane vocal-riffs. The bright side? After a man scorns one of our “Mothers,” we show up in numbers to share in the pain and misery because, let’s be real… life is hard and sad and when our vocalists are happy, what the hell are we supposed to do?
Well, here we are. Clarkson is officially divorced, has a new last name (she dropped Clarkson in her personal life and is now Kelly Brianne) and has begun releasing her new music. To put it plainly, it’s beyond beautiful. She is the one of the most naturally talented vocalists out there, she will go down in history with the greats like Whitney, Mariah, Aretha… essentially, she’s earned the title of “Diva.” But on the new music, Clarkson isn’t going for a Top 40 radio friendly/TikTok sped-up track like most artists are doing, she released two ballads, “mine / me” and it is… music.
The production, the vocals, the lyrics… It’s… Wow. We haven’t heard Clarkson get this personal since her 3rd LP, My December, which was essentially sabotaged by RCA/Clive Davis. It sounds like Atlantic sees the vision and they are going to support her and the project the way it deserves. While “me” is the lead, “mine” is track 2 while “me” is track 4, so most of us listened … backwards. I love both, but we’ll start with “mine.”
I hope one day someone will take your heart and hold it tight
Make you feel like you’re invincible deep inside
And right when you think that you’ll try again, they cross a line
And steal your shine like you did mine
If someone wrote that about me and then sang it better than any other human on planet earth could… I don’t even know what I’d do. Luckily, I’m a little angel and would only ever treat Ms. Kelly with respect and admiration, so my song would probably be like “I love gays” or something catchy like that. But for her ex-husband, yeah… lol. Good luck, sir. Like, could you imagine having to start dating again? You share your name, she googles you and then hears this? I’d … whew.
Beyond being 100% relatable lyrically, the song grows in a cinematic almost Church-like way. The lower-register on the chorus paired with her sad chants create a moment that makes you pause what you’re doing and fully listen to the story that she is telling.
It’s not lost on me that both of these tracks are also Taylor Swift songs and apart of me is wondering if somehow Clarkson releasing “mine” is yet another “Speak Now TV” clue; but I’ll save my conspiracy theories for another post. For now we’ll talk about the incredible “me.” When I first heard this, I got goosebumps -_-, no joke.
I don’t need somebody to hold me
Don’t need somebody to love me
Don’t need somebody to pick these pieces up
I put together my broken
Let go of the pain I’vе been holdin’
Don’t need to need somebody
When I got me
My favorite lyric is “Don’t need somebody to pick these pieces up,” it feels like a reference to her 2015 hit, Piece by Piece. The 2015 release spoke about her story with her father and how he wanted nothing to do with her but she was okay now because she found a man to put her back together, piece by piece. On “me” she realizes she never needed that; she needed herself.
Both tracks show off the insane range that Kelly has and beyond that… It’s just gorgeous gorgeous music. Be sure to give the songs a listen below.