Grab your stethoscopes and hang tight to your defibrillator paddles, because Kelly Clarkson, born Kellegendary Clarkslay-Blackstopulent, is bringing our pulses up, up, up, up all night long.
It’s been one long and painful week o’ teasers leading up to this moment (a moment like this, if you will), but Mrs. Clarkson-Blackstock’s long-awaited lead single from her as-of-yet untitled seventh studio album has arrived.
“Heartbeat Song” sees Kelly returning from her festive Wrapped In Red moment back into her signature Top 40 radio sound with a synth-peppered pop-rock stadium jam, written alongside Kara DioGuardi (of “Gone” Breakaway legacy), Audra Mae, Mitch Allan and Jason Evigan, otherwise known as The Suspex.
In Clarksonography, it sits somewhere between the crunchy edges of Breakaway and the candy-coated pop sheen of All I Ever Wanted. And, unlike Stronger‘s “Mr. Know It All,” she’s kicking things off with a bang…err, beat.
The theme? Kelly’s feeling the love. She’s got plenty of reason to, from her recent marriage to the birth of future Queen Of Pop, River Rose. As a result, the Idol Queen’s provided us with a tune that bursts with a sort of love-at-first-sight giddiness while managing to stay true to her usual arena-ready, guitar-driven goodness. (A “Heartbeat Song” is in fact not a Pop Mom heartfelt ballad, so breathe easy.)
While the punchy verses and pre-choruses come at us at a heart-racing (eh heh) pace, the song’s big hook drops out and slows for a full on, lighters (iPhones) aloft chant: “This is my heartbeat song and I’m gonna play it/Been so long, I forgot how to turn it up, up, up, up all night long!” Reverse order production experimentation? Raise hands in praise emoji! (And, as The Twitter has begun to point out, the chorus totally does sound a little bit like Jimmy Eat World‘s “The Middle.”)
And the vocals are on point, obviously. Key Yelly Clarkson moments include but are not limited to:
“One more taahhhhhhme!”
Oh, and did you catch that one line during the bridge? “I can’t believe I ever breathed without you!” See what she did there? A clear and obvious REFERENCE to “Since U Been Gone.” (“I can breathe for the first time.“) Miss Independent no longer!
Aside from being An All-Around Good Song, “Heartbeat Song” does the job required of a lead single by an established pop star: It’s a solid, catchy reintroduction to the pop world and a pretty spot-on representation of Kelly’s sound, given a fresh gloss for 2015.
“Now I got pins and needles on my tongue anticipating what’s to come…” Same, Kelly. SAME.
Guess we’ll find out in March.
And if you enjoy “Heartbeat Song,” be sure to thank the song’s producer, who is an exciting emerging talent:
“Heartbeat Song” was released on January 12. (iTunes)