2) “Because Of You” w/ Kelly Clarkson (2007, MCA Nashville)
Remakes are a tough thing. Get it wrong and you come off like a hi-rent karaoke act.
But our ACM honoree got this one right. Teaming up with a Pop star who’d just put American Idol in the rear-view mirror with the Breakaway album was, at least in theory, a risky move.
The difference I hear in the two versions is a tone of anger in Kelly’s original vocal, most notable on the final reprise. In contrast, I find the tone on the duet to be one of desperation and resignation.
Here’s one case where both versions work equally well… for different reasons.