The Trouble with Love Is

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"The Trouble with Love Is"
Single by Kelly Clarkson
from the album Thankful
Released November 12, 2003 (2003-11-12)[1]
Format Airplay, CD
Genre R&B,[2] soul[3]
Length 3:42
Label RCA
Writer(s) Kelly Clarkson, Evan Rogers, Carl Sturken
Producer(s) Evan Rogers, Carl Sturken
Kelly Clarkson U.S./Australia singles chronology
"The Trouble With Love Is"
Kelly Clarkson UK singles chronology
"The Trouble With Love Is"
"Since U Been Gone"

"The Trouble with Love Is" is a song by American pop rock singer-songwriter Kelly Clarkson, for her debut album Thankful (2003). The song was co-written by Clarkson, Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken and co-produced by Rogers and Sturken. It was released as the fourth and final single from the album, on November 12, 2003. The rhythm and blues and R&B ballad finds Clarkson explaining how love can be joyful and sorrowful at the same time. It received mostly positive reviews from music critics, who praised it for being "soulful" and "romantic" and praising Clarkson's vocals, comparing her to Mariah Carey and Beyoncé Knowles.

Commercially, while failing to match "Miss Independent" on the charts, completely stiffed in the United States, the song performed considerably better internationally, reaching number eleven and a gold status in Australia, while also reaching significant positions on other Billboard Magazine component charts. The song also served to promote the Christmas romantic comedy Love Actually, being featured in its soundtrack and receiving a video with scenes from the film. Clarkson also performed the song in some of her concerts, most notably the "Independent Tour" and "Breakaway World Tour".

Background and release[edit]

In an interview for SoundSpike, Kelly Clarkson revealed that she "started writing when [I] was really, really young. Then it just started turning into music. I don't even know when." Clarkson also said that, "I wrote four of the tracks on the album: 'Miss Independent,' 'The Trouble with Love Is,' I wrote all of 'You Thought Wrong,' the one I did with [fellow American Idol contestant] Tamyra Gray, and I did 'Thankful.' I'm very much into writing. I didn't get to write more because we had to get the CD out."[4] In the interview, Clarkson also revealed that her mom's favorite song is "The Trouble With Love Is".[4]

Following the underperformance of rock-tinged single "Low" and the success of "A Moment Like This", her label felt she needed to return to ballads,[5] releasing "The Trouble with Love Is" as the album's final single on November 12, 2003 in the United States.[1] In the United Kingdom, the song was released as a double A-side single with "Low".[6] It was released worldwide later on January 12, 2004.[7] The song was also featured on the soundtrack of "Love Actually".[8]

Composition and lyrics[edit]

"The Trouble with Love Is" was written by Kelly Clarkson, Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers, with production being handled by Rogers and Sturken.[9] The song was recorded at four different studios: The Hit Factory, New York City; The Record Plant, Los Angeles; The Enterprise, Burbank, California and The Loft Recording Studio, Bronxville, New York.[9] "The Trouble with Love Is" is an R&B[2] and soul song, with elements of gospel throughout the chorus.[3] Lyrically, it talks about the ups and downs of romance, with Clarkson singing, "Love may be a many splendored thing ... [But] it can tear you up inside/ Make your heart believe a lie."[10]

Critical reception[edit]

The song received positive reviews from music critics. Allmusic senior editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine highlighted the song, as one of the best tracks on "Thankful".[11] Heather Phares also of Allmusic gave a very positive review for the song, writing that it "manages to be romantic, sassy, and empowering all at once, with her vocals reflecting their urban ballad surroundings."[8] Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian praised Clarkson, writing that "Like her fellow Texan Beyoncé Knowles, she has a background in the church, and it shows in the phrasing of the torchy song."[12]

Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine called the song a "durable soul number reminiscent of Mariah Carey's 'Vision of Love'.[13] Website Sputnikmusic called it a "swooning, soulful, radiant song, with gospel-esque background vocals in the chorus that stands out amongst most pop music that plagues the music scene today with mediocrity."[3] Mike Wass of Idolator called it "a bluesy ballad that is an early preview of the diva’s eventual flirtation with roots and blues."[14]

Commercial performance[edit]

While failing to match "Miss Independent" in the United States, "The Trouble with Love Is" performed considerably better internationally.[14] In Australia, the song debuted at number twelve on February 22, 2004, while the next week it reached a peak of number eleven on the ARIA Charts week of February 29, 2004, remaining at the peak position for a further week, matching the same peak position of the previous single, "Low".[15] Ultimately, the song was certified gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association for selling over 35,000 copies. In Netherlands, the song was highest than her previous single, "Miss Independent", debuting at number 81, on December 27, 2003, and peaking at number 26, on January 24, 2004.[16]

In Switzerland, the song became Clarkson's lowest charting-single of her career, only peaking at number 62.[15] In the United States, "Low" did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, but made its appearance on three Billboard component charts. On the "Top 40 Mainstream" chart, the song peaked at number 22, on the "Adult Top 40", it peaked at number 31 and on the "Top 40 Tracks", the song peaked at number 36.[17] In Canada, the song performed significantly at number 25.[17]

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song was directed by Bryan Barber and premiered on November 7, 2003, on "TRL".[18] The video features Clarkson performing the track on a rooftop in downtown Los Angeles, with kids watching Love Actually on a rooftop adjacent to the one Clarkson's on. Along with the high-altitude shots, Barber also created several vignettes showing kids dealing with troubled relationships, which will be interspersed with the performance footage. The scenes take place in the rooms of the building Kelly is performing on and include a girl fighting for attention from her video-game addict boyfriend and another girl climbing on the fire escape after arguing with her mother.[18]

Live performances[edit]

Clarkson promoted the song with a lot of live performances, including "The Ellen Show",[19] Pop Idol,[20] Today[21] "Live On Air", AOL Music, Smile, Popworld and many more. Clarkson performed the track on her "Independent Tour" (2004), "Hazel Eyes Tour" and last on the "Breakaway World Tour" (2005-2006). In 2012, on her "Stronger Tour", Clarkson performed the song on a medley with "Walk Away", "How I Feel" and "I Want You".

Formats and track listings[edit]

These are the formats and track listings of major single-releases of "The Trouble with Love Is".

UK CD single; "Low"/"The Trouble with Love Is"
  1. "Low" (Video Mix) - 3:29
  2. "The Trouble with Love Is" - 3:42
  3. "Respect" - 2:15
  4. "Low" (music video) - 3:28
UK promo CD single
  1. "The Trouble with Love Is" - 3:42
Australian CD single
  1. "The Trouble with Love Is" - 3:42
  2. "The Trouble with Love Is" (MaUVe Classic Vocal Mix) - 8:27
  3. "The Trouble with Love Is" (Bimbo Jones Dub) - 6:06
European CD single
  1. "The Trouble with Love Is" - 3:42
  2. "(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman" - 2:26
  3. "A Moment Like This" - 3:49
US promo 12" single
  1. "The Trouble with Love Is" (Bermudez & Bertoldo Remix: Club Mix) - 6:03
  2. "The Trouble with Love Is" (Bermudez & Bertoldo Remix: Radio Edit) - 3:54
  3. "The Trouble with Love Is" (Bermudez & Bertoldo Remix: Instrumental) - 6:03
  4. "The Trouble with Love Is" (Bermudez & Bertoldo Radio: Acapella) - 3:54
US promo CD single
  1. "The Trouble with Love Is" (Radio Mix) - 3:42
  2. "The Trouble with Love Is" (Call Out Hook) - 0:10

Official versions[edit]

  • Main Edit
  • Acapella
  • Bermudez & Bertoldo Delinquent Cupid Club Mix
  • Bermudez & Bertoldo Delinquent Cupid Radio Mix
  • Bimbo Jones Vocal Mix
  • Bimbo Jones Vocal Mix Edit
  • Bimbo Jones Vocal Dub
  • MaUVe Classic Vocal Mix
  • MaUVe Classic Vocal Mix Edit
  • Thunderpuss Club Remix
  • Thunderpuss Radio Remix


Chart (2003–04) Peak
Australia (ARIA Charts)[15] 11
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[17] 25
Germany (Media Control Charts)[22] 42
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[16] 32
Switzerland (Swiss Music Charts)[15] 62
UK (Official Charts Company)[23]* 35
US Adult Pop Songs (Billboard)[17] 31
US Pop Songs (Billboard)[17] 22
US Top 40 Tracks (Billboard)[17] 36
  • In the UK, "The Trouble with Love Is" was released as a double-single with "Low", with both songs sharing the peak of number 35 on the UK charts.


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[24] Gold 35,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format
United States[1] November 12, 2003 RCA Records Mainstream radio
United Kingdom[6] November 17, 2003 RCA CD single
Germany[25] January 12, 2004 RCA / Sony Music CD single
United Kingdom[26] January 12, 2004 Digital download 19 Recordings


  1. ^ a b c "R&R :: Going for Adds :: CHR/Top 40". Radio and Records. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Aicher, Bill (April 14, 2003). "Shouldn't This Have Been a Big Deal?". Music-Critic. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "Kelly Clarkson - Thankful (album review) - Sputnikmusic". Sputnikmusic. May 26, 2006. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Fuoco, Christina (August 8, 2003). "Interview: 'American Idol' winner Kelly Clarkson". SoundSpike. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Music Review: Kelly Clarkson "The Trouble With Love Is"". The Bland Is Out There. January 21, 2004. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Low / The Trouble With Love : Music". Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "iTunes - Music - The Trouble With Love Is - EP - Kelly Clarkson". iTunes. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Love Actually - Original Soundtrack | Allmusic". Allmusic. November 11, 2003. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b The Trouble With Love Is (Booklet). Kelly Clarkson. RCA Records. 2003. 
  10. ^ Waliszewski, Bob. "Kelly Clarkson - Thankful - Plugged In". Plugged In. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  11. ^ Thomas Erlewine, Stephen (April 15, 2003). "Thankful - Kelly Clarkson | Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  12. ^ Sullivan, Caroline (August 28, 2003). "Kelly Clarkson: Thankful". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  13. ^ Cinquemani, Sal (April 17, 2003). "Kelly Clarkson: Thankful". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  14. ^ a b Wass, Mike (April 15, 2013). "Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Thankful’ Turns 10: Backtracking". Idolator. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c d " - Kelly Clarkson - The Trouble With Love Is". ARIA Charts. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "Dutch Charts.Nl - Kelly Clarkson - The Trouble With Love Is". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f "Thankful - Kelly Clarkson - Awards - Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  18. ^ a b Moss, Corey (November 6, 2003). "Kelly Clarkson Hits The Roof For New Clip, Plans DVD". MTV News. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Kelly Clarkson - The Trouble With Love Is (Live) 2003". YouTube. October 29, 2011. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Kelly Clarkson The trouble with love is live U.K. Pop Idol". Pop Idol. YouTube. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Kelly Clarkson The Trouble With Love Is Live Today". Today. YouTube. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  22. ^ " - Kelly Clarkson, The Trouble With Love Is". Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Kelly Clarkson | Artist | Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  24. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2004 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  25. ^ "The Trouble With Love Is : Musik". Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  26. ^ "iTunes - Music - The Trouble With Love Is - EP - Kelly Clarkson". iTunes. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  27. ^ "iTunes - Music - The Trouble With Love Is - EP - Kelly Clarkson". iTunes. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  28. ^ "iTunes - Music - The Trouble With Love Is - EP - Kelly Clarkson". iTunes. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  29. ^ "iTunes - Music - The Trouble With Love Is - EP - Kelly Clarkson". iTunes. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  30. ^ "iTunes - Music - The Trouble With Love Is - EP - Kelly Clarkson". iTunes. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  31. ^ "iTunes - Music - The Trouble With Love Is - EP - Kelly Clarkson". iTunes. Retrieved November 17, 2013.