kelly clarksonAmerican Idol’s arguably most successful winner (and it ain’t no mirror ball trophy), Kelly Clarkson, is singing through her anger. Which, is supposedly a healthy thing to do. Lord knows my shower has heard me croon through some awful days (admittedly, it’s hard to croon to my go-to angry pick of Rage Against the Machine).

Now that one of Clarkson’s songs has leaked online, there seems to be a snowball of controversy. See if you can keep up, because it confuses even me. The new song “Wash, Rinse, Repeat” has lyrics that reference Ryan Tedder – who wrote eerily similar songs for Beyonce and Clarkson. When Beyonce’s song (“Halo”) was released first, everyone called Clarkson’s song (“Already Gone”) a rip-off. Everyone blamed her, when in reality she’d been duped. So her new song (allegedly) rails at Tedder and the music industry:

“Does it sound familiar, does it linger in your ear like something you remember from just last year…?

“Music from the past, from the present, well, just last week/ We will change a note and get away with it, wait and see.

“I’ll be playing God and you can be my [sound of airhorn]/ The only compromise is you get to pick/ Which of these formulas is your perfect fit?/ Wash, rinse, repeat, why are you fighting it?

Don’t get crazy/ Keep between those lines/ We loved you/ Here’s what we have in mind/ We’ve worked with everyone/ Trust us and see / Wash, rinse, repeat / Wash, rinse and repeat.”

Meanwhile, another released track of Clarkson’s for her new album “Naked Eye” is being blasted as a rip-off of the Arcade Fire song “Rebellion (Lies)”. On Twitter, Clarkson posted, “I’m so tired of disrespecting, lying, sneaky little trolls that pretend to be human.”

So we have sort of a whirl of, Clarkson-Tedder-Beyonce-Clarkson-Arcade Fire- Clarkson-Industry-Clarkson. I’m saying she’ll come out on top. But, with the American Idol finale coming around soon, this isn’t exactly a hopeful message for the winner. It reads like “Yaaay, win so you can be pushed around by the cold, heartless industry! Autotune for the win!” Clarkson has always done well with angry songs – while many of us could relate to “Since U Been Gone”, I think less of us are embroiled in bitter battles with the music industry.

Kelly? Listen to Billy Joel. He has good advice.

What’s the matter with the clothes I’m wearing?
Can’t you tell that your tie’s too wide?
Maybe I should buy some old tab collars?
Welcome back to the age of jive.
Where have you been hidin’ out lately, honey?
You can’t dress trashy till you spend a lot of money.
Everybody’s talkin’ ’bout the new sound
Funny, but it’s still rock and roll to me

Oh, it doesn’t matter what they say in the papers
‘Cause it’s always been the same old scene.
There’s a new band in town
But you can’t get the sound from a story in a magazine…
Aimed at your average teen

Listen to Kelly Clarkson “Wash, Rinse, Repeat”

Kelly Clarkson – “Since U Been Gone” Live

Billy Joel – It’s Still Rock & Roll To Me

How about a pair of pink sidewinders
And a bright orange pair of pants?
You could really be a Beau Brummell baby
If you just give it half a chance.
Don’t waste your money on a new set of speakers,
You get more mileage from a cheap pair of sneakers.
Next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways
It’s still rock and roll to me

What’s the matter with the crowd I’m seeing?
Don’t you know that they’re out of touch?
Should I try to be a straight ‘A’ student?
If you are then you think too much.
Don’t you know about the new fashion honey?
All you need are looks and a whole lotta money.
It’s the next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways
It’s still rock & roll to me.
Everybody’s talkin’ ’bout the new sound
Funny, but it’s still rock and roll to me

(Billy Joel – It’s Still Rock & Roll to Me)