“(Kelly Clarkson’s) version of “I Do Not Hook Up,”…should be heard by every teen girl contemplating chucking her purity ring.” (Ann Powers, Los Angeles Times)
I know casual listeners do this kind of thing all the time, but I was kind of under the impression that actual critics were kind of required to listen to more than the first line of the chorus before they weighed in on what the song was about. For those who are wondering, the first line of “I Do Not Hook Up” is “Oh, sweetheart, put the bottle down/You’ve got too much talent”, and from there it says things like” I see you through those bloodshot eyes/There’s a cure, you’ve found it” and “I can’t cook, no, but I can clean/Up the mess she left”. Or how about “This may not last but this is now/Love the one you’re with”? In the words of a more accurate critic, ‘“I Do Not Hook Up” is about falling for an addict and dangling love as a tool for recovery’, and yet multiple critics insisted on describing in as (in the words of Rolling Stone) ‘a raucous ode to chastity’. This is a dysfunctional love song, like “My Life Would Suck Without You” but much darker, and what it certainly is _not_ is some inspirational anthem about abstinence. Now, like I said, we hear about this kind of thing in life all the time…people playing “Looks Like We Made It” at their weddings and so forth…but those people are not professional critics, and they aren’t literally being paid to know what they’re talking about.