When we said Kelly Clarkson’s new single sounded like Bruno Mars‘ “Just the Way You Are,” some of you didn’t like that–or us–very much. (What’s new?) We weren’t just trolling or picking arbitrary comparisons, though; the percussion broke and the chorus soared and the chords shifted in the exact same places, and it’s still bugging us on repeat listens. Yes, we’re just dismayed at pop-rock’s slow shuffle out of Clarkson’s sound. That doesn’t mean our dismay is wrong.
All this is to say that Clarkson’s performance of “Mr. Know It All” live last night on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno is, we flatter ourselves into thinking, secretly the context she intended all along. The arrangement’s shifted about a bit, so Clarkson’s voice (complete with light P!nk stabs on the verses) is the focus as it should be. It’s heartening, too, to hear the obvious audience reaction to the second half of the chorus and its lift. This bodes well for the eventual tour.
But because much of the talk about Clarkson’s Stronger has been about leaks, we must note this: Jay Leno’s being really cavalier with that copy of that CD. I thought Watch the Throne meant the protocol now was to keep all extra album copies in force-field locked containers inside a black hole near Alpha Centauri, so if anyone ends up hearing that sucker they’ll be gravitationally pulverized a second later?