Triumphant, intimate, heartbreaking.
Kelly Clarkson’s rendition of “It’s Quiet Uptown” from Hamilton is an emotional affair.
During recent promotion for her new children’s book, “River Rose & the Magical Lullaby,” Kelly Clarkson is being asked the obvious: What’s going on with your next album? Throughout her almost two-decade-long career, the original “American Idol” champ has offered us a string of pop/rock and R&B-lite hits, but she’s changing her tune for the first release via her new contract with Atlantic Records. Alongside some familiar KC collaborators like Greg Kirstin (“Stronger,” “Piece By Piece”) and Jesse Shatkin (“Take You High,” “Invincible”), the 34-year-old singer/songwriter has been working on a collection that speaks to her soul rather than Top 40 programmers.
“I’ve just wanted to make this particular record since I was in junior high, she said at the time, and it’s safe to say her new cover of “It’s Quiet Uptown” will reflect that.
The ballad lands on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s collection of Hamilton covers titled The Hamilton Mixtape, out Dec. 2.
“It’s Quiet Uptown,” from the show’s second act, signals a drastic change in tone. Hamilton, now a grown man, has recently made public his extramarital affair with Maria Reynolds, and his son Philip has just been killed in a duel; this song is a window onto Alexander’s reconciliation with his wife, Eliza. Here, Kelly Clarkson slips between the characters of Eliza’s sister Angelica, who narrates the Hamiltons’ tortuous process of grief and forgiveness, and of Alexander himself.
Clarkson’s version is drastically different from the original’s piano arrangement, but nonetheless is still gut-wrenching.