No divorce lawyers are needed: Kelly Clarkson was ready to discuss what was “mine” in the first song off of Chemistry, her upcoming album — while also addressing feelings in second song “me” (both dropped at the same time). Considered her “divorce album,” since it’s her biggest body of work since her split from her now ex-husband, Brandon Blackstock, Chemistry promises to cover “the arc of an entire relationship. With “mine,” the song Kelly, 40, dropped Friday (Apr. 14), she started with the end of love, and the feeling of a broken heart.
“You know I question every motive, everythin’ you say/Thought with you maybe my heart wasn’t meant to break/Can’t believe I let you in, I can’t believe I stayed/As long as I stayed, yeah,” she crooned on the first track. “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,” she says in the song, seemingly believing karma will take course with her ex.
On “Me,” she gave fans more insight about her own experience in the marriage — but asserts her independence. “Buried myself into somebody else/Shut out some parts of me, did it so casually/I guess I needed that to be able to step back/I lived my life without me, I never allowed me to,” she said in the extremely personal song. “I don’t need somebody to hold me/Don’t need somebody to love me,” she then asserts.
Kelly gave her fans a sneak peek at the song “Mine” on Apr. 4. She shared herself belting out the vocals into a mic in what appeared to be a home studio. “Someone’s gonna show you / How a heart can be used / Like you did mine,” she sings in the grayscale teaser, a video that was giving Adele‘s “Hello.” It was unclear what the song was going to sound like, but from the way Kelly sang, it didn’t seem like this was going to be a bubblegum-pop bop.
“The album is called Chemistry,” Kelly announced in a Mar. 26 Instagram video, “and it’s called Chemistry because I was trying to find a word — also, it might be one of the songs on the album — but I was trying to find a word that really described the whole thing. Cause I didn’t want everybody to think I was coming out with some just like, ‘I’m angry, I’m sad,’ just one or two emotions, you know? This album is definitely the arc of an entire relationship, and a whole relationship shouldn’t be just brought down to one thing. So, there’s, y’know — the good, the bad, and the ugly kind of thing going on it. Anyway, chemistry could be a sexy, cool, fun thing. But it could be very bad for you. So, that’s why I named it Chemistry.
Kelly and Brandon, 46, split in 2020 after nearly seven years of marriage. The break was not an amicable one, with the two hashing out who gets what, and a custody arrangement for their two kids. At the end of March, Kelly took a shot at Brandon – her former manager – and his father. Both are suing Kelly for $1.4 million in alleged unpaid commissions (and $5.4 million in future commissions.) Kelly has countersued, claiming Brandon and Narvel Blackstock were never licensed talent managers, and that they owe her all the money they made off of her career.
When covering the radio-friendly version of GAYLE‘s “abcdefu,” Kelly switched up the lyrics from “forget you and your mom” to “abcde forget you / and your dad / and the fact that you got half / and my broken heart/turn that s—t into art.”
“This is an important album,” Kelly told Variety in Sept. 2022. “I’m working on this in therapy: I have a hard time vocalizing what I’m feeling sometimes, so music is helpful for me. It’s just been really healing. I recorded the record quite some time ago.”
“I hadn’t really been working hardcore on an album until I needed to,” she added. “The whole divorce thing happened, and I needed to write it. And then I didn’t know if I was going to release it, because you can be very angry in that state of mind. So some of the songs, they definitely cover the gamut of emotions; there’s everything on the album. It’s almost like the arc of a relationship, because the beginning is so beautiful and so sweet, and then it evolves. And sometimes it doesn’t evolve how you want.”