Walk Away (Kelly Clarkson song)

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"Walk Away"
Single by Kelly Clarkson
from the album Breakaway
Released January 17, 2006 (2006-01-17)
Format CD single, digital download, maxi single
Recorded 2004
Genre Pop rock
Length 3:08
Label RCA
Writer(s) Kelly Clarkson, Kara DioGuardi, Chantal Kreviazuk, Raine Maida
Producer(s) Kara DioGuardi, Chantel Kreviazuk, Raine Maida
Kelly Clarkson singles chronology
"Because of You"
(2005)
"Walk Away"
(2006)
"Never Again"
(2007)

"Walk Away" is a song recorded by American pop singer Kelly Clarkson for her sophomore studio album, Breakaway (2004). It was written and produced by Chantal Kreviazuk, Raine Maida and Kara DioGuardi, with additional writing from Clarkson. The song talks about a relationship that is not working out and she wants a lover who will support her, not disappear when she needs him the most. It is a prominent pop rock song.

It was released as the album's fifth and final single. The song received generally positive reviews from most music critics, who praised the song for being "an anthemic and classic pop-rock song" and commended Clarkson's attitude on the song. In March 2006, the single was certified gold by RIAA and has sold over 500,000 copies in all formats in the United States. As of February 2010, "Walk Away" has sold over 1.1 million digital copies in the U.S.[1]

A music video for the song was directed by Joseph Kahn, while Kelly wrote the treatment for the video. It was described as a fun video and it features many people singing the song in many places, while the video also shows Clarkson performing with her band. Clarkson performed the song on the Breakaway World Tour, Hazel Eyes Tour, Addicted Tour, My December Tour, 2 Worlds 2 Voices Tour, All I Ever Wanted Tour, in a medley on her Stronger Tour, and the 12th Annual Honda Civic Tour.

Background[edit]

Clarkson called "Walk Away" "one of the brighter songs" on Breakaway, and said that "It's just one of those anthem songs where everybody is [bouncing their heads] in the car."[2] She said of its subject matter, "the whole song is just about if it's not working out, then just leave, don't stay and make it worse."[2] Clarkson has said "Walk Away" is her Annie Lennox-type song.[3] After spawning 4 major top 10 singles ("Breakaway," "Since U Been Gone," "Behind These Hazel Eyes," and "Because of You") and spending 60 weeks in the top 20 of the Billboard albums chart, Clarkson released "Walk Away" as the fifth single.[3]

Composition[edit]

"Walk Away" was written by Clarkson, Chantal Kreviazuk, Michael Maida and Kara DioGuardi and produced by Maida, DioGuardi and Kreviazuk.[4] It is one of 5 collaborations with Kara DioGuardi from the album and the first to be released as a single. DioGuardi has become one of the most sought songwriter/producers after playing key roles on hits from Ashlee Simpson's "Pieces of Me" to Lindsay Lohan's "Confessions of a Broken Heart." For additional insurance Canadian couple Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida, frequent Avril Lavigne collaborators, assisted on "Walk Away."[3] It is a pop rock song.[3] It features throbbing bass, an anthemic chorus and a vocal request to demonstrate commitment by action not just words.[3]

The song was the fifth and last single from the album, Breakaway, by Kelly Clarkson.

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Tense guitars open the song, setting a cross tone.[5] In "Walk Away," Clarkson's relationship with her boyfriend seemed to be sunk at the start. With his family conspiring against them and aiding in his deceptions, there was no way it was going to work. Clarkson's hurt not only stems from his indifference to her, but his family's animosity towards her.[5] "You've got your mother and your brother/ Every other undercover/ Tellin' you what to say/", she sings.[5] In the chorus, he asks her whether or not they should continue dating: "I'm looking for attention/ Not another question/ Should you stay or should you go?/ Well, if you don't have the answer/ Why you still standin' here?/ Hey, hey, hey, hey/Just walk away."[5] In the second verse, she says that he stood up her plenty of evenings. However, each time she believed he would be there. After the chorus is the heated bridge. Clarkson says she wants a relationship where the guy loves her as passionately as she does him. She wants a lover who will support her, not disappear when she needs him the most. She asks if he thinks the relationship is worth fighting for.[5] "I wanna love/ I want a fire/ To feel the burn/ My desires/ I wanna man by my side/ Not a boy who runs and hides/ Are you gonna fight for me?/ Die for me?/ Live and breathe for me?/ Do you care for me?/ 'Cause if you don't then just leave," she sings.[5]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Bill Lamb of About.com gave the song 4.5 out of 5 stars, writing that "Clarkson rocks again", praising "the classic pop-rock style" and writing that it "illustrates her versatility."[3] He also wrote that the "single is one of the best songs from the album."[3] Lamb also prasied her singing, writing that "it does bear some resemblance to Lennox' gut-bucket approach to rock-oriented songs, particularly in a nearly a capella passage just past the song's midpoint."[3] Pam Avoledo of Blogcritics wrote that "[...] Clarkson vocals fiery and smoldering. She's come a long way from American Idol where she had the sing songs technically perfect with the emotion optional. However, in the single, she unleashes whatever anger she felt from a past breakup and puts it in the song."[5]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic called it "driving, anthemic pop tune" and picked it as one of the album's best tracks.[4] Robert Christgau named it a "prefab kissoff".[6] Charles Merwin from Stylus Magazine wrote that "Luckily, songs like 'Breakaway' and 'Walk Away' are good enough to make you forget about some disappointments on the album." [7] On March 5, 2013, Billboard ranked the song #20 in its list of Top 100 American Idol Hits of All Time.[8]

Chart performance[edit]

Clarkson performed "Walk Away" in all of her concert tours, as it is one of her most popular songs.

"Walk Away" debuted on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 at number 97[9] on the chart dated January 21, 2006. "Walk Away" became Breakaway's first release to fail to achieve top ten status on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 12.[10] In the United Kingdom, the song debuted and peaked at number 21.[11] In Australia, on the ARIA Charts, the song debuted at number 29.[12] Later, it reached number 28, before falling to number 33.[12] In its fourth week, it reached and peaked number 27.[12] As of March 2013, the song has sold over 1,224,000 copies in the United States. [13]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Walk Away" was developed from a treatment Clarkson had written and was directed by Joseph Kahn. [2] The video premiered on British music channels on March 6, 2006 and on TRL and MuchOnDemand on March 7. Of the fifty days it was eligible for the TRL top ten video countdown, it was at number one nineteen times, including on its last day, June 1.[14] The video was voted thirtieth in VH1's "Top 40 Videos of the Year" for 2006.[15] Kelly wrote the treatment for the video, even writing in a scene for her brother and one of her friends. She shot the video in Los Angeles.[2] Clarkson said of the music video:

"The last two were a bit darker, so I decided to write a happier treatment. I usually tell the story, like with 'Hazel Eyes' and the same with 'Because of You,' but this one we wanted to make a bit more fun. I don't want to give it away, but it's a very funny video."[2]

It opens with alarm clock waking up at serval times and video is shown Clarkson singing "Walk Away" live. Other people are shown are a man showering, a woman at an office, twin brothers in the sports hall changing rooms, a football player, a man cleaning his house with a vacuum cleaner, a hairstylist, a waitress at a café, a man on the road in the traffic, men in the restroom (one of the men was played by Clarkson's brother, Jason Clarkson) and an officer standing by a car all singing along. During the bridge section, a man gets out the car and dances by the traffic and singing along. Another man sings along in a car, and he eventually gets out of the car to dance, holding up traffic. The video is intercut with shots of Clarkson performing the song with her band.[2]

Live performances[edit]

Clarkson has performed the song in eight of her concert tours. First, she performed the song on the Breakaway World Tour, Hazel Eyes Tour, and the Addicted Tour (2005–2006). Later, Clarkson performed the track on the My December Tour (2007–2008), as the 16th song. She also performed the song on the 2 Worlds 2 Voices Tour (2008), a co-headlining concert tour with Reba McEntire. It was the first Clarkson song to be performed. Later, she performed the song on the All I Ever Wanted Tour (2009–2010), as the 17th song. On the Stronger Tour (2012), Clarkson performed the song as part of a medley, with "The Trouble With Love Is", "How I Feel" and "I Want You". When Clarkson performed the song on her most recent tour, the 12th Annual Honda Civic Tour, where she was a special guest for Maroon 5, she and her music director changed the arrangement to make it sound more jazzy.

Clarkson has also performed the song on Live with Regis and Kelly, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and at half time during the 2007 Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Football game.

Charts[edit]

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
United States[26] January 17, 2006 Contemporary hit radio RCA Records
United Kingdom[27] March 13, 2006 CD single Sony BMG
Australia[28] March 18, 2006 Maxi single
Germany November 24, 2006 CD single[29]
Maxi single[30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Moss, Corey. "Bonus SoundScan numbers for Kelly Clarkson, David Cook, more!". USA TODAY. February 14, 2006.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Moss, Corey. "Kelly Clarkson Eyeing Black Eyed Peas For New Album". MTV News. February 14, 2006.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Lamb, Bill. "Kelly Clarkson - Walk Away (RCA)". About.com. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Erlewine,, Stephen Thomas (November 30, 2004). "Breakaway - Kelly Clarkson | Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 11, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Avoledo, Pam (January 1, 2006). "Single Review: Kelly Clarkson "Walk Away"". Blogcritics. Retrieved Julne 22, 2012. 
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: CG: clarkson". MSN Music. Retrieved April 11, 2011. 
  7. ^ Merwin, Charles (February 17, 2005). "Kelly Clarkson - Breakaway - Review - Stylus Magazine". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved April 11, 2012. 
  8. ^ http://www.billboard.com/articles/list/1550614/top-100-american-idol-hits-of-all-time?list_page=8
  9. ^ Clover Hope, "Nelly Nabs Fourth Hot 100 No. 1", Billboard.com, January 12, 2006.
  10. ^ a b c d e f "Walk Away - Kelly Clarkson | Billboard.com". Billboard.com. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "Kelly Clarkson | Artist | Official Charts". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b c "Australian-Charts.com - Kelly Clarkson - Walk Away". ARIA Charts. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  13. ^ http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/chart-beat/1550541/ask-billboard-a-whole-lotta-shake-in-going-on?page=0%2C2
  14. ^ TRL Archive, June 2006, Popfusion.net.
  15. ^ The Top 40 Videos of the Year VH1.com Retrieved on 04-30-07
  16. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Kelly Clarkson – Walk Away". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
  17. ^ "Kelly Clarkson – Walk Away – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
  18. ^ "Ultratop.be – Kelly Clarkson – Walk Away" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  19. ^ "Ultratop.be – Kelly Clarkson – Walk Away" (in French). Ultratip.
  20. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Kelly Clarkson – Walk Away". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
  21. ^ "Kelly Clarkson – Walk Away – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
  22. ^ "가온차트와 함께하세요" [South Korea "Gaon" International Singles - 24 November 2012]. Gaon Single Chart (in Korean). Korea Music Content Industry Association. "To access, select "2012" as chart year and select the chart period "11/25/2012 - 12/01/2012"" 
  23. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Kelly Clarkson – Walk Away". Music Canada. 
  24. ^ "American single certifications – Kelly Clarkson – Walk Away". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  25. ^ "Chart Watch Extra: American Idol's Million-Sellers - Chart Watch". New.music.yahoo.com. 2010-04-30. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  26. ^ http://gfa.radioandrecords.com/publishGFA/GFANextPage.asp?sDate=01/17/2006&Format=1
  27. ^ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Walk-Away-2-Track-CD/dp/B000EHTNWK
  28. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20071020012516/http://www.sonybmg.com.au/cd/releaseDetails.do?catalogueNo=82876812942
  29. ^ http://www.amazon.de/Walk-Away-Kelly-Clarkson/dp/B000JMJUQE
  30. ^ http://www.amazon.de/Walk-Away-Kelly-Clarkson/dp/B000EMI6QY

External links[edit]