“Fight Song” by Rachel Platten

I gave this song something of a pass while it was actually a hit, but two things have made me reconsider that generosity in the meantime. One was that I realized that this its very presence essentially kept Kelly Clarkson’s “Invincible”, a vastly superior song with almost exactly the same concept, off the charts in 2015. The second is that I finally heard the actual album from which this song was drawn, and realized as a result how intolerable this song really is when surrounded by eleven other songs just like it.

The best way I can describe Platten’s style is ‘Debbie Boone on steroids”: hackneyed, saccharine, nauseatingly faux-inspirational, and above all else loud. The cliche-ridden lyrics and weak rhymes do tend to sound worse and worse with every repeat hearing, but the real problem is the song’s overblown bombast with no actual content or depth to back it up. Platten is clearly trying to be Kelly Clarkson, but even when Clarkson dabbles in cliche (as on “Mr. Know-It-All” or “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You”)), the music itself has an intensity and power that this burst of empty noise doesn’t even approach.

This isn’t the worst song on Platten’s album that year (her duet with Andy Grammer, the point-blank unlistenable “Hey, Hey, Hallelujah”, almost manages to make this one look like some kind of classic), but it’s still a warmed-over imitation of a song model that had already been done better by just about every major Pop artist four years before this song was even released.

Verdict: Bad.

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