Album: My December
For Kelly Clarkson, her boyfriend’s mood swings have become too much to bear in the jittery “One Minute."
Frantic guitars open the single, setting an alarmed tone. What exactly set him off now? Tears are running down his cheek. Over and over again, he says that he’s sorry. He continues say that he’s stressed out and can’t concentrate on a single thought. He said he couldn’t hold it inside anymore. His outburst was unwarranted. He promises it won’t again. (“You’re going crazyRunning on empty/You can’t make up your mind/You try to hide it/But you had to say it/Restless all this time/So completely drained from every thing that’s in your life/It’s so wrong but you had to scream every thought you kept inside.”)
In the chorus, he has gone into the family room, laughing uproariously at something on television. She shakes her head, wondering what just happened. For the last month or so, she’s really paid attention to his behavior and it’s flagged with red. When she finally feels she is able to understand him, his temper flares. She ends up winded and upset. Now, she has decided to simply not care. His emotions will change again. (“One minute you laugh/The next minute you’re slowly sinking into something black/I get the feeling that lately nothing ever really lasts/I keep trying to get up but I keep falling back/And you love/And you hate/And you wait/Cause one minute goes fast.”)
Her fingers jump a little on the steering wheel as he raises his voice to her. With his finger, he yells that she missed the turn and now they are going to be late. He lets out a loud sigh. He complains that his friend lives too far away. An hour ago, he was smiling, telling her how excited he was to see his friend.He seems to be going in a dozen directions. She can’t keep up with which way to go. (“You just can’t escape it/You’re losing patience/You wonder what went wrong/Everything changes/Happy then jaded/Always a different song/Playin’ in your head just when you think you got it down/Out of nowhere you realize it’s different music playing now.”)
The chorus is sung again.
In the bridge, she notes again how quickly he changes. (“One minute goes fast/Fast/Fast/Fast/One minute goes fast/Yeah/Yeah.”)
An extended version of the chorus ends the single. (“One minute you laugh… Cause one minute goes/One minute goes/One minute goes/Fast.”)
Clarkson’s apathetic vocals give her boyfriend perfunctory answers and keeps the conversation to a minimum. Regardless of whatever is going on, it always ends up being all about him and it’s really beginning to grate her.
The underrated “One Minute” is glutted in resentment and disillusionment, crushing any speck of idealism.