New Kelly Clarkson – “My Life Would Suck Without You”

A curious thing happened to Kelly Clarkson since being American Idol’s first and most successful champion. She became an underdog. In the midst of experimenting with rock and country songs, and turning her back on the TV competition that launched her career, Kelly famously incurred the wrath of Clive Davis by insisting on artistic control over a darker, less commercial third album. Needless to say, she never matched the success of the “Since U Been Gone,” a hit even Ted Leo, Mike Watt, and adorable Asian kidz couldn’t deny. With its swift strummed intro and shouty chorus “My Life Would Suck Without You” is a pretty straightforward attempt to reclaim that glory. And like “Since U Been Gone” (and “I Kissed A Girl,” unfortunately) “Suck” was written by Max Martin and Dr. Luke. Which means you’re gonna hear it a lot this year.

Judging by that single cover, Kelly no longer has artistic control. (Someone’s going to mash this with “Lollipop” before the week’s over, aren’t they.)

All I Ever Wanted it out on RCA 3/17.