Listen: Kelly Clarkson rips the industry in 'Wash, Rinse, Repeat'
Sometimes personal beefs make great songs, especially when it’s in the love-gone-wrong/spurned lover department. But more often than not, they come across as an artist taking public something that really involves (and is of interest to) a small group of people involved. That’s because living under the spotlight’s constant glare creates a belief that the world is fascinated by your every move, thought, and deed because, it, indeed, goes revolve around you.
Kelly Clarkson’s tune, “Wash, Rinse & Repeat,” falls into the latter category. On the surface, the song is an indictment of the cookie-cutter mentality pervasive in pop music that praises music that sounds just like another hit that listeners loved, but is just different enough to avoid a copyright infringement lawsuit. Or as Clarkson sings, “Does it sound familiar/does it linger in your ear like something you remember from just last year.”
Or is it something much more? Many outlets, like Idolator, are speculating that this is Clarkson further venting her spleen at songwriter/OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder. She’s been pissed at Tedder ever since she felt that her hit, “Already Gone” was basically a rewrite—or a “Wash, Rinse & Repeat” of Beyonce’s hit, “Halo.” Both were co-penned by Tedder.
The song is mildly amusing, especially the robotic speaking voice that Clarkson adopts. The guitars are crunchy and she sounds great when she’s mad, even when she’s filtered through auto-tune. Her point, even if it is meant in the more generic way, is well taken. Record labels go back to the same producers over and over again once those producers show they can have hits. The result is that individuality is marginalized and squeezed through the eye-of-the-needle-sized pop parameters. She may be singing about Tedder, but Clarkson could be describing any number of pop producers with these lines: “Don’t get crazy/ keep between those lines/we love you/here’s what we have in mind /we’ve worked with everyone/trust us and see.”
So is this needless carping that Clarkson should have kept to herself (given her response to Taylor Swift’s label head after the Grammy debacle, she’s clearly not one for holding back) or is she providing a biting commentary on how pop music is manufactured these days? Listen for yourself below and try to figure out the bleeped words.
In perhaps a bit of irony in other Clarkson news, a new track, called “Naked Eye,” leaked today and sites like beatcrave instantly accused Clarkson of ripping off Arcade Fire’s “Rebellion (Lies).” “Naked Eye” has been taken off the web before we could hear it, but how interesting that both tracks leaked around the same time.
Coincidence? We think not.