Top 40 single reviews

Kelly Clarkson

Catch My Breath

Album: Greatest Hits: Chapter One

Year: 2012


               Kelly Clarkson speaks up for herself in the relaxed  “Catch My Breath.”


                Punchy synths open the single, setting an ecstatic tone.  She asks the server for the check. She had met up with an old college roommate for lunch.  Since graduation, she has gone to her friend’s wedding and baby shower. Her friend is now thinking of going back to work. Clarkson thinks of her life so far: she’s been in multiple relationships with none working out, she’s had a full-time job but it’s not what she planned to do. Like her friend, she wants a family life with a return to the dream job. However, in each of her relationships she let the guy determine the terms, leaving her without a say. Although she’s looked for jobs which are suited for her degree online, she’s didn’t apply for them. She’s gone with the flow, contorting herself to fit other people’s needs even when it was in conflict with her own. She’s spent her life crafting the right responses, avoiding confrontation. (“I don't wanna be left behind/Distance was a friend of mine/Catching breath in a web of lies/I've spent most of my life/Riding waves, playing acrobat/Shadowboxing the other half/Learning how to react/I've spent most of my time.”)


          In the pre-chorus, she has pretended to be okay with everything even though she wasn’t. When someone would make an off-hand remark, she ignored it. She was taught to take the high road. However, it’s led her to not stand up for herself and let others do thinking for her. (“Catching my breath, letting it go/
Turning my cheek for the sake of the show/Now that you know, this is my life/I won't be told what's supposed to be right.”)


         In the chorus, she thinks of what she told her old roommate when she started bragging about her husband and wondered why such a sweet girl like her was still single. She then began getting out phone numbers of available guys. She retorted she was fine by herself right now and didn’t need to be set up. When her friend started writing down several phone numbers down anyway, she told her to stop and leave her alone. Her friend stared down, told her she had become a bitter bitch and left in a huff. Clarkson believes she’s better off without her in her life. She wants people to care about what’s going on in her life, too. It’s a huge burden off her shoulders. She wonders why she didn’t realize it earlier. (“Catch my breath, no one can hold me back/I ain't got time for that/Catch my breath, won't let them get me down/It's all so simple now.”)


      She thinks of her last couple ex-boyfriends. They showed interest in her and she decided to date them. They seemed like nice guys. However, when they started taking over the relationship by making all the decisions, she still stayed even though she was peeved at their behavior.  It wasn’t as though she was going to find someone better. Usually, the guys she really liked wouldn’t even give her a second glance. Since breaking up with her last ex-boyfriend, she’s begun to good about herself again. She’s been spending time with her family and a few close friends. On the way home from work, she’ll turn the radio up loud, singing along with the song. People’s reactions crack her up and she’ll burst out laughing right in the middle, causing people to give her even weirder looks. She’s been going to a yoga class a few times a week and has met some new friends there. She believes the her life will turn out okay now. Eventually, her ex-boyfriends and old roommate will find someone who will put them in their place. It’s only a matter of time. (“Addicted to the love I found/Heavy heart, now a weightless cloud/Making time for the ones that count/I'll spend the rest of my time/Laughing hard with the windows down/Leaving footprints all over town/Keeping faith, karma comes around/I will spend the rest of my life.”)


          The pre-chorus and chorus are sung again.

        In the bridge, it was her brother she has to thank. After she recounted her story about her last breakup, he hugged her and told her he was proud of her. (“You helped me see/The beauty in everything.”)


         The pre-chorus is sung twice.

          A single “catch my breath” is sung.

        The chorus is sung again.

        The pre-chorus is sung again.
        A single “catch my breath” is repeated again. 

          The chorus is sung again with the “catch my breath’s” added to end the single.

       Clarkson’s adamant, resolute vocals are unyielding to the pressure surrounding her, delivering harsh blows to knock those off who are acting in their own self-interest.


       The even “Catch My Breath” has a tight grasp on what it wants.

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