Photo: Brian Bowen Smith

Kelly Clarkson – i hate love (feat. Steve Martin)

Wow, Chemistry just took a darker turn. If you don’t believe me, perhaps you should take a look at “I Hate Love’s” cover picture. Clue: it’s a smashed-in statue of Cupid-like lovers. Yeah, that’s how much Kelly Clarkson hates love right now. The girl is done hating herself for loving someone. Why blame herself for falling for someone, when she can blame the thing that made her fall for the person in the first place?

“I Hate Love“ premiered with a live version of the song performed by Clarkson at the Belasco Theater on her birthday. As the 13th track on Chemistry, it continues with the album’s theme of exploring the different facets of love: the good, the bad, and the ugly. “I Hate Love” is trailing on the ugly side of love, with Clarkson herself admitting that it’s more of an angry track.

“You can’t stand the person, but you love them and you’re just like why?!?” Clarkson said at the Belasco Theater the night she performed all the songs from her upcoming tenth studio album. She explained that she wrote “I Hate Love” to reflect the dilemma we may face wondering whether a particular someone is “the one” for us. She then compared The Notebook to Complicated featuring Meryl Streep and said that love is more like the latter than the former. She also called The Notebook‘s version of love “bullshit,” which is to be expected since she said the movie straight up lied in the song.

“I hate love / It’s a bitch sometimes / Mama, I’m sorry for using that word / But I only use it when it applies,” she sings in the opening verse. If there’s one thing we can expect from Clarkson on any of her songs, it’s her fine use of her impressive vocal prowess. “Even when I know it’s bad for me/These memories fill my mind/Why do you smell so good?”

If this song was a movie, I’d say it climbed to the climax when she declared that “love’s no friend of mine.” I think we’ve all had this existential crisis where you’re like how can I meet the right one in a world that literally has 8 billion people? So yeah, we hate to love for not being easy, perfect, and wonderful, like it promises it would be at the beginning.

This song is a mixture of angry parts and truly devastating ones, like the bridge that goes, “Love, you won this round / Love, I’m on the ground / Love, I’m empty now / So I’m tappin’ out.”

Obviously, a lot of pain and anguish inspired Chemistry, and while we wish it wasn’t so for Clarkson’s sake, we’re also selfishly enjoying the songs on this record. And yeah, “forget” the person that broke Clarkson’s heart, whoever it may be.