For those of you who don’t know, I love Kelly Clarkson. I have all her albums and watch The Voice when I can. My ringtone is even “Catch My Breath.” I’m surprised I haven’t written an article about her yet, but here I am now reviewing her newly released single.
When I found out Clarkson would be releasing a new song on April 16, my cheeks hurt from smiling so much. “I Dare You” did not disappoint. In fact, the powerful ballad surpassed my expectations.
The “I Dare You” lyric video on YouTube was my first taste of the song, and I couldn’t get enough. Clarkson has always had powerhouse vocals, and they aren’t lacking in this video. She shows off her falsetto and belt with some fantastic riffs. The song is fun and upbeat, with a catchy melody I’ve been singing nonstop since I first heard the song.
The song navigates the simple message of spreading love and hope when it seems like the world is falling apart. Clarkson said it best when she told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show: At Home Edition, ‘“It’s basically, ‘I dare you to love instead of fear.’” As Clarkson goes onto explain, the message is fitting during this crazy pandemic, and with an increasingly divided world, connections should be cherished.
The first lyrics that slammed into me were the pre-chorus. Clarkson sings, “You may not have the stage / But you still have a voice / You may not have the strength / But if you have a choice.” She moves into the chorus, singing, “Even if you’re hurt and you can only see the worst / Even if you think it’s not enough / Oh, I dare you to love.” The message of trying to share your voice and spread love to others even if you’re struggling is pure elegance. As Clarkson says, all you have to do is try.
I was very curious when I saw another “I Dare You” YouTube video pop up entitled “Global Virtual Performance.” What I heard was pure beauty. Clarkson, along with five global singers, pieced together a video of each performer singing the song in their respective language. I didn’t believe that Clarkson was also singing in other languages at first, but it became more apparent throughout the video. That was when I searched for interviews Clarkson had done about the song.
Clarkson released the single in many versions as well duets in five other languages with each singer. Zaz (French), Faouzia (Arabic), Blas Cantó (Spanish), Galsperlenspiel (German) and Maya Buskila (Hebrew) took part in the amazing “I Dare You” global performance. Each singer had their shining moments, and all the harmonies blended exceptionally well together. Although the words did get jumbled since five languages are sung, the sentiment was still there. It’s not like I could understand all the other languages anyway.
This global song was a feat that Clarkson always hoped she could do. She told Fallon that she grew up singing opera in many of the Latin-based languages. “I Dare You” certainly gave her that chance. By singing with people of diverse backgrounds, Clarkson really emphasizes her message that love and connection are significant.
Some critics believe the lyrics are basic, and Clarkson “phoned this one in.” They think that she could have done so much better with the song and the video. I can admit that the message is cliché; however, it’s one people should always hear—especially right now. Also, although the video might not have an overly complex production, it’s still heartwarming because of the collage of images. While people could say I’m being easy on this song because I’m a die-hard Clarkson fan, I think the simplicity of the song is what makes it feel like I can connect to it more.
If you haven’t had the chance, “I Dare You” to listen to Clarkson’s new song. You should listen to her version, the global video and even browse for the duets with each individual singer. This song’s inspiring message of hope, love and unity is what we all need right now.