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Kelly Clarkson, is that you? Or is this Jimmy Eat World?

After a four-year hiatus, Kelly Clarkson is back in a big way — her just-released first single from her seventh studio album has everyone buzzing.

Admittedly, “Heartbeat Song” is catchy. It’s a bit more bubblegum pop and less pop rock than some of Clarkson’s past up-tempo tracks, but it’s predictably addictive nonetheless.

More: Kelly Clarkson breathes a little soul into Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”

Only, it sounds… familiar.
Listening to the song for the first time, we had a sneaking suspicion it bore an uncanny resemblance to something else. But what? Sure, it’s a little Taylor Swift circa 1989 (the album, natch) with a little Jessie J thrown in the mix, but that’s not it.

The chorus — “This is my heartbeat song/And I’m gonna play it/Been so long I forgot how to turn it up up up up all night long” — sounds just like another song.

After failing to pinpoint it the second go-round, a quick cursory search revealed that a smarty-pants at Vox had, in fact, managed to recall the source of the similar sound.

Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle,” y’all.

C’mon, you remember the song. Released in 2001, the infectious track went on to become the band’s biggest single to date.

The cadence to Clarkson’s “Heartbeat Song” gives us major nostalgia for “The Middle,” especially that line of the chorus we were never quite sure of but sang the hell out of anyway — “It just takes some time/Little… in the middle… hmm, hmm, ride/Everything, Everything will be just fine.”
Don’t hold back. You know you did it, too.

Still, it doesn’t actually bother us that Clarkson’s new song sounds so much like Jimmy Eat World’s old one, for a few reasons.

More: Kelly Clarkson to get the ultimate honor at Musicians On Call

Firstly, we’re just happy Clarkson is back to making music — we’ve missed you, Kel! Secondly, “The Middle” is still our jam, so anything that sounds like it is A-OK with us. Third, uh, we don’t hate it. And by that, we totally mean we’ll be scaring other commuters by belting it out on the road every morning. See also: Best song for dance-cleaning, ever.

Fourth, Clarkson posted a teaser vid to Instagram showing that her too-cute-for-words daughter, River, is definitely a fan. How can you dislike anything with this kind of endorsement?

And, lastly, it’s not as though she stole the song. Perhaps she’s actually paying homage to the band with the subtle similarity.

“The Middle” must be Clarkson’s jam, too.

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