Since You’ve/U Been Gone – Aretha vs. Kelly

A week or so ago, there I was driving along listening to Chicago’s own WXRT, when what should come across the airwaves but a helluva song that I’d never heard before, Aretha Franklin’s “Since You’ve Been Gone.”

Well now, like it or not, I am a member of the American Idol generation, and though I don’t watch the show, I do wind up knowing who the winners and losers are, and to my mind, one Miss Kelly Clarkson has got to be one of the best voices on the American pop scene today — and her “Since U Been Gone” is a very particular song, with a very particular vibe.

Thus, hearing Aretha just kill it on lyrics like “Baby baby, sweet baby/ I didn’t mean to run you away/ It was pride on my lips,/ But not in my heart/ To say the things that lead you to stray” — well it was just kind of odd! Because Kelly had rather a different take on her boy’s cheatin’ heart: “You had your chance you blew it/ Out of sight, out of mind/ Shut your mouth I just can’t take it/ Again and again and again and again.”

Compare n’ contrast – Aretha:

I’m praying
Take me back,
consider me please
If you walk in that door,
I can get up off my knees
I’ve just been so blue


Since U Been Gone
I can breathe for the first time
I’m so moving on
Yeah, yeah
Thanks to you
Now I get
What I want
Since U Been Gone

Now, far be it from me to suggest anything about Aretha Franklin or Kelly Clarkson as actual people. I have no idea if one is a shrinking violet or the other a riot grrl, and indeed, if you watch the clip below of “Since You’ve Been Gone,” I think you may agree with me that being “so blue” looks like a hip-shakin’, piano-poundin’ good time, frankly.

But wow. What a difference! I’m choosing to believe the starkly different sentiments are a sign of the changed times. After all, on the same album that “Since You’ve Been Gone” appeared, Aretha also put out a little ditty called “Respect.”

(And if you’re looking for a little more street cred for “Since U Been Gone” — would a Ted Leo acoustic version do the trick? Yeah. I kinda thought it might). (Oh and if you doubt me on Kelly Clarkson’s voice? Check this out).


  1. Well, Aretha’s not the Queen of Soul for nothing!
    I like “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” and of course, “Chain of Fools.”

    I’m not mad about most of Kelly’s actual songs, but I agree she does have a really good voice. (I pride myself on having never watched even a minute of Idol *or* Survivor! Does that make me a TV snob? Oh well.)

  2. dmf

     /  May 21, 2010