Cry (Kelly Clarkson song)

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Single by Kelly Clarkson
from the album All I Ever Wanted
Released March 12, 2010 (2010-03-12)
Format Digital download
Genre Pop rock
Length 3:34
Label RCA
Producer(s) Howard Benson
Kelly Clarkson singles chronology
"All I Ever Wanted"
"Don't You Wanna Stay"

"Cry" is a song by American singer and songwriter Kelly Clarkson, taken from her fourth studio album, All I Ever Wanted (2009). It was written by Clarkson, Jason Halbert and Mark Townsend, with production being done by Howard Benson. It was released as the album's fourth single (fifth and final overall) only in Australia and Germany; it was released as a digital download on March 12, 2010 in Germany and added to Australian radio stations on March 15, 2010.

"Cry" is a pop rock ballad, with Clarkson adding that it is a "waltz" ballad with influences of country music. Inspired by a friendship that went sour, lyrically, "Cry" talks about betrayal. The song received mostly positive reviews from music critics, who agreed the song matched Clarkson's ability of dominate a ballad, while also praising her vocals on the track. The song was covered by Lea Michele on an season three episode of Glee, and her version charted on the lower regions of Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Composition and lyrics[edit]

The song was written by Kelly Clarkson, Jason Halbert and Mark Townsend. Production was done by Howard Benson, who was also responsible for providing keyboards and programming. Drums were played by Josh Freese, Paul Bushnell provided bass and guitar was played by Phil X. Mike Plotnikoff was responsible for recording, while digital editing was added by Paul Decarli, with additional engineering being done by Hatsukazu "Hatch" Inagaki.[1] According to the sheet music published at by Alfred Publishing Company, "Cry" was written in the key of Bb major, with a moderate tempo of 70 beats per minute. Clarkson's vocals span from the low note of Bb3 to the high note of F5.[2]

"Cry" is a power ballad,[3] written as a "waltz" song, according to Clarkson, who also explained that it is "very much influenced by country."[4][5] Lyrically, "Cry" talks about betrayal with Clarkson describing it as "the most personal song on the album."[4] She also explained that the main inspiration behind the song was about a friendship that went wrong and she decided to write in the form of a relationship, because "usually people relate to those songs." She further added: "With that song, I went through a really shitty thing with someone who betrayed me. When I started writing the song I was like, 'I'm gonna write this like it's a guy and a relationship.'"[5] In the chorus, she wonders, "Is it over yet? Can I open my eyes?."[6]

Release and reception[edit]

Clarkson originally wanted "Cry" to be released as the third single from the album, but her record label RCA decided to release "Already Gone" instead. Later, "Cry" was released as the album's fourth single in Germany and Australia. It was released as a digital download in Germany on March 12, 2010,[7] and was sent to Australian radio on March 15, 2010,[8] where it became the second most-added song to radio that week.[9]

Critical response[edit]

The song received positive reviews by music critics. Ann Powers of Los Angeles Times considered an "old-fashioned tear-jerker that Clarkson does so well."[10] J. Freedom du Lack of The Washington Post agreed, also calling it a "big, bereft tear-jerker, a Clarkson specialty."[11] Kerri Mason of Billboard noted that the song is "memorable",[12] while Evan Davies of Now called it a "requisite (and equally decent) ballad that make[s] use of her impressive range."[13] While analysing her vocal performance on the album, Daniel Brockman wrote for The Boston Phoenix that her "tone-deaf emotional bludgeoning tends to work in her favor on monstrous power ballads like 'Cry' and 'Already Gone,' which linger in your memory long after the Max Martin love hangover fades."[3] Eric R. Danton of The Hartford Courant noted that she "shines brightest" on the album's ballads.[14] Jon Dolan of Blender noted that, on "Cry", "breaking up triggers an eye-flood of biblical proportion."[15]

For Elle J Small of BBC Music, "'Cry' gleams from the rest of the pack with its beautiful guitar riffs and gushing melodies. Clarkson is the cherry on the cake of this future hit."[16] Michael Cragg of musicOMH described it as "particularly dreary",[17] whilst Jon Caramanica of The New York Times called it "a shouter of a breakup song."[18] Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone agreed with Clarkson definition of the song, naming it "a big waltz-time ballad whose tune holds a hint of Nashville-pop twang. Clarkson grew up in Texas listening to country; 'Cry' serves notice that she could give Carrie Underwood a run for her money."[19] Huffington Post's Mike Ragogna noted that her vocals on the track "blow[s] away any comparisons to her youngish peers, such as those of the Disney variety."[20] In a less favorable review, Jonathan Keefe of Slant Magazine stated that "the use of electronic vocal enhancement throughout the album [...] strips the natural warmth of her voice on 'Cry', making her delivery sound distant and tinny".[21]

Credits and personnel[edit]

  • Recorded at Bay 7 Studios, Valley Village, CA; Sparky Dark Studio, Calabasas, CA; Sunset Sound Studios, Hollywood, CA
  • Assisted at Sunset Sound by Graham Hope

Credits adapted from All I Ever Wanted booklet liner notes.[1]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format
Germany[7] March 12, 2010 (2010-03-12) Digital download
Australia[8] March 15, 2010 Contemporary hit radio

Glee version[edit]

Single by Glee Cast
Released May 1, 2012 (2012-05-01)
Format Digital download
Recorded 2012
Genre Pop rock
Length 3:31
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Kelly Clarkson, Jason Halbert, Mark Townsend

The song was covered by actress Lea Michele in the Glee episode "Choke", which first aired on May 1, 2012. It was later available for digital download.[22]


Chart (2012) Peak
Canadian Hot 100[23] 96
Irish Singles Chart[23] 100
UK Singles Chart[24] 116


  1. ^ a b All I Ever Wanted (booklet). Kelly Clarkson. 19 Recordings Limited under exclusive license to RCA Records. 2009. 8697465972. 
  2. ^ "Kelly Clarkson "Cry" Sheet Music". Alfred Publishing Co., Inc. Retrieved December 26, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Brockman, Daniel (March 23, 2009). "Kelly Clarkson | All I Ever Wanted - CD Reviews". Boston Phoenix. Retrieved December 26, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Robertson, Jessica (2009-02-03). "Kelly Clarkson Gets What She Wants". Archived from the original on 2009-02-28. Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  5. ^ a b Rolling Stone (April 23, 2009). "Kelly Clarkson on Boyfriends and Backlash". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 22, 2015. 
  6. ^ Montgomery, James (February 24, 2009). "Kelly Clarkson Wants You Back … Maybe". MTV News. Retrieved December 14, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Cry - Single von Kelly Clarkson in iTunes". iTunes (in German). Retrieved December 22, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "Kelly Clarkson – Cry (SME)". The Music Network (778). Archived from the original on April 6, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Kelly Clarkson - Cry - Issue 779 - The Music Network". The Music Network. Archived from the original on 2012-04-06. Retrieved December 22, 2015. 
  10. ^ Ann Powers (2009-02-27). "Kelly Clarkson's 'All I Ever Wanted': 3.5 stars | Pop & Hiss | Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 29 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-18. 
  11. ^ du Lac, J. Freedom (March 10, 2009). "Review of Kelly Clarkson's "All I Ever Wanted"". Washington Post. Retrieved December 18, 2015. 
  12. ^ Kerri Mason (2009-03-14). "All I Ever Wanted". Billboard. Archived from the original on 2009-03-10. Retrieved 2010-03-18. 
  13. ^ Davies, Evan (March 25, 2009). "Kelly Clarkson | NOW Magazine". Now. Archived from the original on April 24, 2014. Retrieved December 26, 2015. 
  14. ^ R. Danton, Eric (March 10, 2009). "Review: "All I Ever Wanted" By Kelly Clarkson". The Hartford Courant. Archived from the original on March 15, 2009. Retrieved December 26, 2015. 
  15. ^ "All I Ever Wanted". Blender. March 10, 2009. Archived from the original on March 15, 2009. 
  16. ^ J Small, Elle (2009). "BBC - Music - Review of Kelly Clarkson - All I Ever Wanted". BBC Music. Retrieved December 25, 2015. 
  17. ^ Michael Cragg (March 3, 2009). "Kelly Clarkson - All I Ever Wanted". musicOMH. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. 
  18. ^ Caramanica, Jon (March 8, 2009). "New CDs From Kelly Clarkson, Chris Cornell and Madeleine Peyroux - The New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved December 25, 2015. 
  19. ^ Rosen, Jody (March 3, 2009). "Kelly Clarkson All I Ever Wanted Album Review | Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 26, 2015. 
  20. ^ Ragogna, Mike (March 3, 2009). "HuffPost Reviews: Kelly Clarkson All I Ever Wanted / Gin Blossoms Playlist Your Way". The Huffington Post. Retrieved December 26, 2015. 
  21. ^ Keefe, Jonathan (March 2, 2009). "Kelly Clarkson: All I Ever Wanted | Album Review | Slant Magazine". Slant Magazine. Retrieved December 16, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Exclusive Online Premiere - Glee Covers Kelly's "Cry"". April 27, 2012. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved December 22, 2015. 
  23. ^ a b "Cry by Glee Cast - Music Charts". Music Charts. Retrieved December 26, 2015. 
  24. ^ "Chart Log UK: New Entries Update". May 12, 2012. Retrieved December 26, 2015. 

External links[edit]