Now that American Idol is back, you’re gonna see a lot of Idol-related artists and things poking their heads out to create some kind of synergy with the show, and lo and behold, Kelly Clarkson is back. Last we heard from Kelly, she and label head Clive Davis were at loggerheads over the direction of Kelly’s career. He found Kelly’s album My December (which really wasn’t bad) uncommercial, while Kelly was insulted by the fact that Clive wanted her to record with songwriters-for-hire and wasn’t appreciative of her following her muse. My December went on to sell a respectable (these days, at least) 800,000 copies, but her previous album sold 6 million, so we know who won that battle.

So, Kelly’s gone back into the studio with her tail between her legs, and the first single from her upcoming fourth album is My Life Would Suck Without You. Maybe I need to give the song a few more listens, but I have one fundamental problem with it. It sounds EXACTLY like her breakout hit, the Grammy-winning Since U Been Gone. Um…it also sounds quite a bit like Jimmy Eat World’s The Middle. Not that I’m against artists who have a particular sound and go back to that well on occasion, butseriously: if you were drunk and listening to Suck…, you could fit the words to Since U Been Gone in here. That song was lightning in a bottle, and Kelly’s already proven herself talented enough to vary her sound up a little, so the end result is a little disappointing. Take a listen and tell us what you think.