Because of You
A cold parent has hardened Kelly Clarkson in the steely ballad "Because of You."
She "oohs" over a somber piano, creating a wintry tone. She promises herself to do make different decisions than he did. She won't be like him: miserable and impulsive. He drew her in with his vibrant facade. However, it's only caused her to become disillusioned. She will be cautious the next time around. "I will not make the same mistakes that you did/I will not let myself/Cause my heart so much misery/I will not break the way you did/You fell so hard/I've learned the hard way/To never let it get that far."
In the chorus, she mentions that she won't discover new places or try anything new. She doesn't believe anyone is sincere. They have selfish motives. It's ingrained in her by one of her parents. "Because of you/I never stray too far from the sidewalk/Because of you/I learned to play on the safe side so I don't get hurt/Because of you/I find it hard to trust not only me, but everyone around me/Because of you/I am afraid."
Clarkson details the emotionless person who raised her. If she was unsure of what to do and felt lost, she would be scolded for it. If she cried in front of the person, she would be berated for showing emotion. She learned crying means a lack of strength and control. In order to appease the person, she began to pretend to be outgoing. However, inside she's hurt and resentful that she can't be talk about how she feels. Growing up with the person has made her numb and angry "I lose my way/And it's not too long before you point it out/I cannot cry/Because you know that's weakness in your eyes/I'm forced to fake/A smile, a laugh everyday of my life/My heart can't possibly break/When it wasn't even whole to start with."
In the bridge, Clarkson rememebers her parent's spiraling into a depression. From her bedroom, she heard inconsolable weeping. The parent wanted to Clarkson to be a friend and to be dependent. She despises the person for putting their needs first instead of discounting everyone else's. She sobs like he did during the night like him, which has embittered her. "I watched you die/I heard you cry every night in your sleep/I was so young/You should have known better than to lean on me/You never thought of anyone else/You just saw your pain/And now I cry in the middle of the night/For the same damn thing."
The chorus is sung once, however it's extended. She adds that she has repressed any hurtful memories of the person. She doesn't have many friends or is uncertain on how to befriend people. She dislikes her life. She has a huge void which cannot be filled. "...Because of youI try my hardest just to forget everything/Because of you/I don't know how to let anyone else in/Because of you/I'm ashamed of my life because it's empty/Because of you/I am afraid."
Clarkson sings "because of you" twice to end the single.
Powerful and realisitc, Clarkson unleashes raw bitterness and heartache in "Because of You." Vocally, the single is her shining moment. Clarkson is exploring subtle feelings and expressing them in an intimate way.
The single is also written in the tricky Bananarama style (as in "Robert DeNiro's Waiting.") Listening to only snippets of the lyrics is deceiving. The generic title leads people to believe she is singing a heartfelt tribute to someone. However, a thorough listen finds the opposite is true. It's Clarkson's first perfect single.
For price, tracklisting and other album information please visit Amazon.com.