Kelly Clarkson foreshadowed her return to pop music with the release of "Heartbeat Song," one of the handful of promising releases that landed early in the new year. Sharing some sonic DNA with Jimmy Eat World's "The Middle," the tune hearkens back to some of Clarkson's more subtle moments in the early 2000s. Her vocal does not rely on the shout-singing approach she has become known for, but that does not mean "Heartbeat Song" lacks energy. On the contrary, it has a dancey sheen and driving beat. The producers smartly chose to layer Clarkson's voice on the chorus, allowing the song to expand. It's a good move, and one that helps make Clarkson sound mature but reminiscent of her best material.