As she navigated changes in her personal life, The Kelly Clarkson Show host penned her 10th studio album.
“My producer and I were laughing yesterday because I was like, ‘Remember that time we wrote, like, 25 songs in a week?’ A lot of those are the ones that are on the album,” Clarkson told Variety in June 2022. “I literally wrote most of these almost two years ago. Then I told my label, ‘I can’t talk about this until I’ve gone through it,’ and it’s just taken some time to do that. That’s one of the reasons we’ve done a lot of Christmas stuff the past two years — because I was like, ‘Well, that’s happy!’”
Kelly Clarkson & Chemistry
In March 2023, she confirmed the title — Chemistry — is reflective of her past romance.
“I’ve been working on this project for close to three years now. I wasn’t sure I was going to release it, but I am. The album is called Chemistry,” she revealed via Instagram. “I was trying to find a word, it might be one of the songs on the album, but I was trying to find a word that really described the whole thing. I didn’t want everybody to think I was just coming out with some ‘I’m angry,’ ‘I’m sad’ — just one or two emotions. This album is definitely the arc of an entire relationship. That whole relationship shouldn’t be brought down to one thing. There’s the good, the bad and the ugly kind of thing going on. Chemistry can be a really amazing, sexy, cool, fun thing, but it can also be very bad for you. So that’s why I named it Chemistry, I thought it was the perfect title to describe the entire album.”
Chemistry is out in full on Friday, June 23. Us is breaking down the most-telling lyrics — so far:
“Red Flag Collector”
“Sure, you can have the towels / You can take my money / Drag my name ’round town / I don’t mind, I changed it anyway,” Clarkson sings, referring to the hefty divorce settlement and her decision to legally change her name. Us confirmed that she not only dropped “Blackstock,” but tweaked her name to Kelly Brianne, still going by Kelly Clarkson professionally.
“So run your mouth, puff your chest / Play cowboy in the wild, wild west,” she sings. “I don’t mind, take what’s left / High road livin’ is what I do best.” In the chorus, Clarkson seemingly references their fight over their Montana ranch.
“I Hate Love”
“I hate love / And The Notebook lied / It’s Complicated is more like what happens / So you can keep Gosling and I’ll take Steve Martin,” she sings, comparing iconic romance movie The Notebook to Meryl Streep’s messy love triangle with her ex-husband (Alec Baldwin) and new love interest (Martin) in the film It’s Complicated.
“Favorite Kind Of High”
Clarkson sings about the other side of chemistry in this track: “You’re my favorite kind of high / Rushin’ through me like a fire / And I need you to know / I say I won’t, but I do / When it comes to lovin’ you / I don’t have no control / You’re my favorite kind of high.”
Clarkson sings about an ex crossing a line and stealing her shine — “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 it’s perfect, they cross a line / And steal your shine like you did mine”
In the chorus, she references the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which follows Kate Winslet’s Clementine erasing her memories of her ex after their split: “Go ahead and break my heart, that’s fine (So unkind) / Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind (Oh, love is blind) / Why am I missin’ you tonight? (Was it all a lie?) / Someone’s gonna show you how a heart can be used.”
In the chorus, she seemingly backtracks on the lyrics in her 2015 song “Piece By Piece,” in which she gave her ex husband credit for helping her feel whole after her father’s abandonment. In “Me,” she declares she can fix herself: “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.”
Jerrett Franklin grew up in a small town. He moved to Nashville to pursue a music career. After writing for a few different artists in the area, he decided to branch out and give local music the spotlight. That is where the idea for Music On The Rox originated from. We are dedicated to shining a light on local music and giving a voice to those who aren’t being heard.