22 July 2013

Strength Of The Single

Kelly Clarkson, the Clive Davis feud, American Idol.  I know, I know.  I’m not a fan of the show and what happened between her and Mr. Davis is their business.
But I have to say, even though Clarkson represents the pop genre more than the rock genre, her cover of Aranda’s “WhyYaWannaBringMeDown” is a fantastic example of great rock music.

Structured like a Ramones classic with a linear melody that pushes itself into a chanted chorus, the entire song lasts only 2 minutes and 42 seconds and Clarkson’s vocal is Gavin DeGraw powerful.  She tosses in a few diva riffs, but for the most part it’s full throttle singing.

The centralized vocal feels like it sits a few paces ahead of the rhythm plane only to form a bulldozer blade when it connects with bookended background vocals on the hook. 

The bass line is so well blended into the floor tom slams and the engine revving rhythm guitar that it’s nearly inaudible.  When the chorus kicks in the first time, you want to dress up like a Redcoat and prance around like Adam Ant. 

No nihilism in this short version of a breakneck angry love ballad, just music thick enough to get your head banging and your body doing the Pogo.  By the final outro you expect Toni Basil to show up with her cheerleading crew and break out with a tribute to “Mickey” while his baby mamas sit on the sidelines watching. 

Based on the strength of this single I would put on a cheerleader’s uniform and E.T. dance through Balboa Park until a Park Ranger shows up and insists I put on more age appropriate clothing. 

“WhyYaWannaBringMeDown” (Aranda/Biancaniello/Watters)
Kelly Clarkson
All I Ever Wanted
(RCA 2009)

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