Tightrope

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Kelly Clarkson released her 7th studio album on Tuesday.  No one loves it and no one hates it. At best, all the reviews are mixed.  As a fan, and a lover of connecting to lyrics, I love it. Kelly doesn’t shy away from expressing her emotions, one of the things I love most about her. It might not be the most personal effort to date for Kelly, but it stays true to what she has always been to me, a fighter, a truth speaker, a feeler of emotion, and a powerhouse singer.  I love Kelly and I love this album.

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Upon first listen, besides the lead off single “Heartbeat Song”, the stand outs were, “Someone”, “Run Run Run” a duet with right now piano man John Legend, “Dance With Me” and “Let Your Tears Fall.”  Then I was driving home yesterday from work and I heard “Good Goes the Bye” and was immediately connected to it.

It’s like we pulled the pin out of a grenade
It just didn’t go off right away
But man did it go off when it finally did
Everything’s suddenly magnified
It’s loud and it’s quiet at the same time
As the echo of it’s all over sets in

The bridge of the song hits you right in the gut.  Anyone who has ever gone through a hard breakup, knowing in your heart that being “friends” is a dumb idea and next to impossible, you think about it and think it is possible because you want nothing more than to be connected to that person in anyway possible.  Then you eventually realize, it’s not a good idea.  You weren’t friends before you dated, so why be friends once it’s over? There is a reason it is over. It’s a gut punch, but you eventually realize it’s for the best.

I can’t go back, we can’t be friends
And we can’t be what we were then
You can’t be mine, and I can’t be yours
And it’s not love anymore

The final blow comes when Kelly gets to the third singing of the chorus. She comes in with backing vocals repeating each line in her upper register.

Slam goes the door
Hush goes the phone
Out goes the flame
And I’m standing here alone
Burn goes the drink
Down go the tears
Drip goes the sink
And I’m missing you like hell
Break goes the heart
Wrong goes the right

Goodbye

I suppose there isn’t anything extraordinary about he melody of this song, but it is sort of catchy.  What gets to me, always with a song, are the lyrics, especially when I can relate.  I just love “Good Goes the Bye”.  How many times have you been at that point of a relationship ending and the “hush” of the phone is almost unbearable. “Out goes the flame/and I’m standing here alone/burn goes the drink/down go the tears” are some of the most relatable lyrics.  We’ve probably all been there and “break goes the heart” but I hope those of us who have been, can stand on the other side and say, it was for the best.  “Wrong goes the right/Goodbye.”

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I posted on Facebook my favorite songs and wondered what my friends thought.  “Tightrope” was definitely a crowd pleaser. This morning on my way to work I made sure to take a closer listen.  It struck me with the chorus.

And I ain’t seen nothin’ like you
The way you light up every room tonight
So easily
And I have moved mountains, babe
Just a stumble and too long a grace
And I, I still can’t compete

What is this song about?  To me, it’s about putting people up on a pedestal. It could be the person you are in a romantic relationship with, or a family member, or even a celebrity.  Why do we feel less than, then put others above us?  In my past relationship why did I put my ex on a pedestal?  At the time I thought he was everything and I would have done anything not to rock the boat for fear he would end our relationship.  Why do we do this to ourselves in relationships? Back then I was suffocated by wanting a relationship to work so badly with a guy I put up on this pedestal. I wouldn’t bring up wanting more out of our relationship because I feared his reaction.  After months of dating I wouldn’t say “I love you” for fear he would freak and end things. Ultimately, I couldn’t be my full self because I worried this person I put on a pedestal would reject me and our relationship.  Well, he did that anyway, and thank god! I have learned SO much about myself, what I am worth, and that that cannot be compromised in a relationship if we want to continue to grow. I could never have grown in that past relationship.  No one deserves to be on a pedestal.

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Now the rich and famous….famous for what? Why do we put Jennifer Lopez on a pedestal of celebrities?  She can’t sing, can barely dance, and act….you saw Gigli. So what is Jennifer Lopez besides a beautiful 40 something woman? At least Angelina Jolie is adopting the world.  Kelly’s song “Tightrope” made me think, Why do we do this to ourselves?  Why do we place people on pedestals to stand above us? We should all stand together, not above or below. Jennifer Lopez is beautiful, but what else? In a relationship no partner should be placed above another, ever.  The only way to grow as a partnership and love each other is to be side-by-side, together.

Which brings me to “Heartbeat Song” the lead single off Kelly’s new album, Piece By Piece. This is a pop romp!

You, where the hell did you come from?
You’re a different, different kind of fun
And I’m so used to feeling numb
Now, I got pins and needles on my tongue
Anticipating what’s to come

“You, where the hell did you come from?” The night I met my boyfriend wasn’t just any night, it was the 4th of July, but ok, otherwise, it was a night out with friends. The age old saying goes, “You’ll find him when you aren’t looking.” Oh you can all go fuck yourselves with that saying. And while you’re at it, take with you, “Have fun with it,” in reference to dating. Dating isn’t fun and when you’re single, who isn’t looking? Yet……”You, where the hell did you come from?” On that Friday night I was briefly introduced to this really good looking, smart, well dressed man in pink shorts, who bought me a drink. He gave me his phone number and told me he’d be in town the rest of the weekend. Still under dispute is the question of who pursued who. He gave me his number and bought me a drink, and this is my blog, HE pursued ME!

The rest is really history.  It’s been a “Heartbeat Song” since July 4th! 🙂

Until tonight I only dreamed about you
I can’t believe I ever breathed without you
Baby, you make me feel alive and brand new
Bring it one more time, one more time

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What I can say now, that I couldn’t say two years ago, is that being in a mutually fulfilling relationship makes all the difference.  I love my boyfriend more than anything and we grow every time we’re together.  There are so many “Heartbeat Song” moments I can’t name them.  He’s funny and sassy and classy and loving and generous and loves me for who I am, flaws and all.  He’s not on a pedestal(as he read this I know he shouted, “I’M NOT?”) and neither am I.  We have “opportunities to grow” and we do. We work together to understand each other. I can be who I am, good times and not such good times(I guess even I get moody too) but there is never this fear that I can’t be who I am or he won’t love me. What I’m saying is, trust yourself, value yourself, believe in your worth, and you too will find a guy who will give you a “Heartbeat Song” all the time.

This is my heartbeat song and I’m gonna play it
Been so long I forgot how to turn it up up up up all night long
Oh up up all night long
This is my heartbeat song and I’m gonna play it
Turned it on
But I know you can take it up up up up all night long
Oh up up all night long

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