dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Friday, July 23, 2010

My Problem With Katy Perry Has Always Been This...

In May 2008 I typed out a small piece for Towleroad called "How Gay Is Katy Perry?", where—with eyebrow arched—I wondered just where she was going with her then-newly-popular songs "Ur So Gay" and "I Kissed A Girl."

"Are Katy Perry's lyrics offensive, or are they just silly, gimmicky pop songs by a self-proclaimed attention seeker to be taken with a grain of salt?" I asked. And over two years later, I'm still a bit leery about the nagging disingenuous nature that seems to surround the blue-wigged pop minx. She just seems like a big jokester rather than a music artist. She's singing, but she's rolling her eyes and pissing in the punchbowl as she does it.

My biggest problem with Perry is that every other single she releases seems to dig its hooks into my ear. I couldn't have given a toss about "I Kissed A Girl," but "Hot N Cold" landed smack at #5 on Chart Rigger's 10 Best Pop Singles Of 2008 list.

"California Gurls" was a cheap "TiK ToK" carbon copy throwaway (naughty Dr. Luke), but current single "Teenage Dream" has a kind of anthemic urgency to it.

Witness, chyldren:

See what I mean? It's upbeat and pure adrenaline rush, but there's some kind of underlying, angst-ridden sadness to it, a la Robyn's "Dancing On My Own," Texas' "Inner Smile" and Kylie's "All The Lovers." Like, you want to dance, but you're crying as you do so.

And therein lies the problem; Whipped Cream Tits really shouldn't be inciting these kind of emotions. Granted, I haven't seen the writing credits on this one. But something tells me that even if all she does is sneezes in the studio, she gets co-authorship of whatever tune is being recorded that moment.

But giving credit where credit is due, Perry sounds stronger and more impassioned here vocally than she ever has before. (What up, Pro Tools?)

At any rate, I dug "California Gurls" for about two or three spins before it made me want to put a power drill up to my forehead. We'll have to see how long the rascally charm of "Teenage Dream" lasts.

Maybe Katy's just destined to leave me forever feeling hot and then cold.



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