Top 40 single reviews

Behind These Hazel Eyes
Album: Breakaway
Year: 2005

Kelly Clarkson hides her pain after breaking up with her ex-boyfriend in the above average pop-rock of "Behind These Hazel Eyes."

Clarkson starts by singing "oh oh oh" over the restless percussion, setting a doubting tone. The music gets quiet to focus on Clarkson's singing. In the first verse, she's thinking of the good times they shared as a couple. He made her special and brought out the best in her. She believed the nothing could harm the relationship. ("Seems like just yesterday/You were a part of me/I used to stand so tall/I used to be so strong/Your arms around me tight/Everything it felt so right/Unbreakable like nothing could go wrong").

A few months later after the breakup she can't focus and is constantly edgy, unable to sleep at night anymore. She's falling apart. ("Now I can’t breathe/No I can’t sleep/I’m barely hanging on").

The guitars pick up as she wails that she doesn't know what to do anymore. She has reached the point where she knows something is not right with her nor is she ashamed to show her suffering anymore. She was planning to get married to him someday, have kids and grow old with him. However, he is not to see troubled person she is now. She won't give him the satisfication. ("Here I am/Once again/I’m torn into pieces/Can’t deny it/Can’t pretend/Just thought you were the one/Broken up deep inside/But you won’t get to see the tears I cry/Behind these hazel eyes").

He knew her secrets and willing exposed her weaknesses to him. He made her feel safe. Now, she only fakes the person she used to be with him. She acts as though the breakup doesn't matter to her to other people. However, she's actually miserable despite her strong facade. ("I told you everything/Opened up and let you in/You made me feel alright for once in my life/Now all that’s left of me/Is what I pretend to be/So together but so broken up inside").

In the bridge, she says he treated her carelessly and dumped her without a second thought. She thinks it's her fault the relationship is over and tries to stop herself from resenting him. But she saw him recently and wept openly. ("Swallow me then spit me out/For hating you, I blame myself/Just seeing you it kills me now/No I don’t cry/On the outside anymore").

The chorus ends the single.

"Behind These Hazel Eyes" is superior to "Since U Been Gone." It's punchier, well-written and gives Clarkson a chance to show off her vocal skills without the trendy haughtiness.

"Behind These Hazel Eyes" should've been released instead of "Since U Been Gone." However, two rocking break-up songs released right in a row is overkill. Clarkson can sell ballads really well. Now would've been the opportunity to release the pretty "Where Is Your Heart."

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on Apr 23, 2005
The review was interesting but dead wrong about the previous single. Since U Been Gone has been #1 on the Pop Chart for 6 weeks and will stay there several more weeks. It reached #2 on the hot 100. In todays rythmic/hip-hop dominated radio cesspool #2 for a female pop/rock chick is INCREDIBLE! It has a serious shot at song of the year at Pop.

Behind These Hazel Eyes will be a smash/already is a smash hit. Kelly Clarkson could get three #1s in a row with this one.
on Apr 23, 2005
You do bring up a good point, Allan. SUBG has been a huge hit for Clarkson and pretty much soldifies her popularity. I agree with you completely there.

But to clarify what I said, people who may be casual fans or just getting into her may be turned off by two break-up songs released back-to-back. That's pretty much what I meant.

I do hope she has success with BHTE. I like it so much more than SUBG (which also has a lot to do with what I said.)

Thanks for stopping and posting, Allan
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