"Heartbeat Song," Kelly Clarkson's new (heartbeat) song, sounds familiar.
Listen to it.
If you're between the ages of let's say 20 and 40, you probably don't need to be told why it sounds familiar. If you are, like a certain American Idol champion, a 32-year-old U.S. citizen, born and raised in Texas, who was 18 years old when a certain all-time-great alt-rock anthem for emotional teens was released, you almost certainly don't.
Just in case: It sounds like Jimmy Eat World's "The Middle."
A lot like it!
Most of these "x sounds like y" situations are flimsy, relying on a guitar part or chorus or bridge melody that bears a passing resemblance to a section of a previous song. The thing about "Heartbeat Song" is that multiple sections are just like The Middle. The verse, in particular, is uncanny—imagine Jimmy Eat World singer Jim Adkins saying "hey" just as Kelly Clarkson says "you"—and the chorus bears a strong resemblance as well.
One key difference: while Jimmy Eat World's version rides the same chord progression through its entire length, Clarkson adds a pre-chorus and bridge that change things up. (These are the "I can feel it rising..." and "Until tonight I only dreamed about you..." parts). They're also in different keys.
But "Heartbeat Song" isn't bad. When your song conspicuously sounds like an existing great-sounding song, chances are your song will sound pretty good too. Just ask The Offspring about that time they sounded just like The Beatles. Or the Beatles about when they sounded just like some guy named Humphrey Lyttleton.