Single Review: Kelly Clarkson “The Trouble With Love Is”

Album: Love Actually Soundtrack/Thankful
Year: 2003

With the failure of Low, RCA decided to release yet another Kelly Clarkson ballad, The Trouble With Love Is. It’s much better than her previous ballads. It’s R&B lite instead of pure pop, allowing it not to be mired in candied notes and choirs. The lyrics have shown some minor improvement. They are now average instead of horrible. But bad grammar strikes again in the last verse, “The story always ends the same/Me standin’ in the pourin’ rain.” Granted, pop music is not Kafka, but it’s a glaring error.

The trouble with the single is the singing, mostly. Clarkson struggles throughout. Her voice is tired and strained, which causes her unable to reach the notes. She is working hard to hit every note, but it’s not effortless. Every crack and scratch in her throat can be heard. The producers Evan Rogers and Carl Sturkey need to be blamed for not putting the best version of it on the album. It’s her responsibility to sing well, but its theirs to ensure that another version could be recorded the next day or when it could be fit into the timeframe. It sounds like a first take and rushed, which is lazy producing on their part.

 

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