100 songs of the decade [Top 10]: 9. Dark Side – Kelly Clarkson

 100 songs of the decade [Top 10]: 9. Dark Side – Kelly Clarkson

Written by: busbee and Alexander Geringas
Produced by: Greg Kurstin
Album: Stronger
UK release: June 2012
UK chart peak: 40

How blessed we are that 17 years post-Idol, Kelly Clarkson is still very much booked and busy. But of her three best-known hit singles this decade – Stronger, Underneath The Tree and Piece By Piece – none of them are quiiiiite up there with her very best, if you ask me.

That title ‘imo’ goes to Dark Side; which had the unfortunate honour of following monster smash Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) as the third single from the album of the same name. Thematically, we’re on familiar territory with Kelly – ‘angsty’ – but there’s a vulnerable and hopeful edge to this one. It’s about warning a new love interest that they haven’t seen you at your worst yet, and they may well wanna run for the fucking hills when they do. As someone with a partner who is RENOWNED for being an all-round good person and ray of sunshine, I found this particularly relatable. “I’m more of a dickhead than you, is that OK?”

Greg Kurstin’s production is epic, and Kelly – obviously – sings the absolute shit out of the vocal. The “tell me that you will stay-yaaaay-yeaayyayYEAAAH” bit in the middle-8 and the “nobody’s a PIIIICTURE PERFEEEECT!!!!” bit in the final chorus are truly two of my favourite ever moments from her. Dark Side isn’t up there with her best-known or best-selling classics, but in terms of the stuff she’s put out this side of 2010, it’s easily my own fave.

  • I’ll be writing about my favourite 100 pop songs of the decade; one a day for the last 100 days of 2019. They’re in no particular order, except the Top 10.
  • See the full list so far here.
  • You can follow the rolling, daily-updated playlist below, or here.

Shaun Kitchener


Scriptwriter for the theatre and TV (currently Hollyoaks) and freelance entertainment ~reportage.