Guest Post: Kelly Clarkson Forays Into Country with ‘Don’t Rush’ – Single Review.
I, like I assume many others are, am still confused as to Kelly Clarkson’s nomination for CMA Female Vocalist of the Year (Olivia Newton-John Gate anyone?), as the only country I was aware of her making was the country mix of her previously pop song ‘Mr Know It All’ and a duet with Jason Aldean on ‘Don’t You Wanna Stay’. Correct me if I’m wrong. So in mind of this, it seems almost as if Kelly has made an effort to make country music to sort of prove her worthiness, duetting with Vince Gill (always a good start) on her new single, ‘Don’t Rush‘. I’m not doubting that Kelly could have a real country career if she wanted to and make proper country music, but this seems like an attempt to please all camps.
The song is in a soul/R&B style that reminds me very much of Kelly’s first album, Thankful (music which I’m pretty sure she claimed not to have had much part in making, preferring rockier stuff, coincidentally), but from the off we’re confronted with a steel guitar. However, it doesn’t come across as being played in a very country manner, and reminds me more of the Hawaiian roots from which it originates. The sounds are far more focused on a soul swung beat, and the ‘country’ elements such as the steel guitar and the twangy electric guitar solo become part of the song as opposed to infusing it with country. You can barely even hear Vince, you have to actually listen properly just to hear his background vocals, and when they sing overlapping alternate “baby don’t rush”s towards the end, he just sounds like a session musician brought in to fill up the mix. Nothing is really made of his contribution whatsoever, and it feels as if she’s getting by on his name in order to get airplay on country stations.
It is what I would call a ‘lazy Sunday’ song, a chilled, lying in the sun kind of soundtrack, and it’s pleasant enough on the ears without begging me to play it again. The chorus has a nice melody but not fantastic or terribly catchy. It just all sounds a little average to me, trying to hop on the back of her decidedly random CMA nomination and the fact she scored Vince Gill to join her in the studio. Or rather, sing quietly over her vocals after she’d long left to go get pizza.
I have always liked Kelly Clarkson (Breakaway was the soundtrack to my 2005/2006), but with so many people attaching themselves to the country brand for the privileges involved these days, I’m automatically suspicious when I hear something like this.
However, it’s not bad as such, just not as good nor as country as I expected, so if you would like to buy it you can get it on iTunes although I can’t currently find a link.