On Kelly Clarkson's latest single, "Low," she gets mad. In the video, she gets even.
The song, a country-flavored, mid-tempo tune written by Jimmy Harry (Kylie Minogue) and produced by Cliff Magness (Avril Lavigne), finds the "American Idol" winner reflecting on a broken relationship.
"It's cool you didn't want me/ Sometimes you can't go back/ But why'd you have to go and make a mess like that?" she sings before asking in the chorus: "Have you ever been low? Have you ever had a friend that let you down?"
The video, directed by Antti J. (Beyoncé), opens with Clarkson cruising on a desert highway in a Jeep that viewers later learn belongs to an old flame. While driving, she envisions the guy driving by and holding up his number on a piece of paper, but she sings, "No, I don't need your number."
"I wanted her to rock and kick ass a little bit more than she normally does," said J., who directed Clarkson's "A Moment Like This" and "Before Your Love" videos. "I listened to the lyrics and there were elements of lost love and feeling low, and there are some scenes directly from that, however they are portrayed in more metaphoric terms."
Eventually, after cutting back from footage of her performing at a drive-in theater (with psychedelic imagery on the big screen), the video shows Clarkson pulling off the road near the edge of a cliff. In classic Hollywood fashion, she stops with the front wheels just over the edge. She gets out, emotionless, and walks away, but not before kicking the bumper and sending the vehicle tumbling.
"I had 'Thelma & Louise' in mind, but I don't think we wanted her to drive over the cliff," J. said with a laugh. "I already thought it was kind of risky, because it shows such a different attitude than she normally portrays. She pulled it off and it was more about fun. It's more tongue-in-cheek than it is a serious, like, 'You messed me over and now I'm going to drive your car off a cliff.' "
As with "Miss Independent," the #9 song on Billboard's Hot 100, Clarkson wasn't immediately convinced that "Low" should be a single (see "Kelly Clarkson Dispels Dating Rumors, Clears Up Movie Plot"). Other contenders, and possible third singles, were "Just Missed the Train," "The Trouble With Love Is" and "You Thought Wrong," a duet with Tamyra Gray.
Clarkson is still fulfilling publicity obligations for Thankful, but next month she'll hit the road on a tour of state and county fairs. "We've already talked to people about maybe [touring] worldwide and stuff like that, so everything is looking really positive," she said recently.
Kelly Clarkson state and county fair tour dates, according to RCA Records:
- 8/6 - Lacrosse, WI
- 8/8 - Indianapolis, IN
- 8/9 - Milwaukee, WI
- 8/10 - Davenport, IA
- 8/12 - Midland, MI
- 8/14 - Hamburg, NY
- 8/15 - Detroit, MI
- 8/16 - Escanaba, MI
For a feature interview with the first "American Idol" winner, see "Kelly Clarkson: Crowd-Surfing Anti-Diva."