Throughout her 15 year career, Kelly Clarkson has been known for her kiss-off tracks - many of them taking aim at relationships. The singer-songwriter has been enjoying a new era in her life being under a new label - one who gives her creative freedom. The latest album, Meaning of Life, is the first record since signing with Atlantic Records in 2016 and kicked off with the track “Love So Soft.” A builder on the radio, “Love” became Clarkson’s 101st No. 1 across all Billboard charts as it reached the top of the dance charts in Nov. 2017. She’s now releasing her second single from Life, “Medicine” - a 90’s influenced, wailer.
The bass-rich “Medicine” was written by Mick Schultz and Jessica Ashley Karpov and was produced by Schultz with Karpov contributing to vocal production. Neither left out any detail in the pop-R&B laced track ala Mariah Carey’s “Emotions” (1991). From multiple layers, falsetto riffs and a modern effect in places including a chorus background, Karpov is credited as a background singer as well as Clarkson’s own backup singers Bridget Sarai and Nicole Hurst.
“Medicine” kicks off with a prominent bass line, and Clarkson’s voice already feisty as she’s living her life like a celebration. “I ain’t even thinkin’ bout you/ Don’t talk about ya/ Almost forgot about you,” she sings before ripping into an infectious chorus - “So watch out/ ‘Cause your love’s not allowed/ You’re touch don’t heal now/ I’m good.” Then she throws it back in the person’s face in a sassy mouthful. “How does it feel to know I’m better off without you playin’ game around my head a thousand times/ I almost damn near lost my mind,” Clarkson belts. That’s far from the only belt in the song but one comes roaring in in the last piece of the song that sends chills down the spine in true Clarkson style.
To start the new promo which will continue into the new year, Clarkson appeared on the live finale of NBC’s “The Voice” on Dec. 19 where she will join as a coach in the first 2018 season. She premiered the TV debut performance of the song along with a less vocally challenging arrangement without compromising the integrity of the song. As so often, more performances will strengthen how it’s being performed live over time and is one to look for on tour in 2018.
Listen to the album version above and check out the live performance from "The Voice" below.
See also: 10 best pop albums of 2017