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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16 Comments:

  • At 2:52 AM, Blogger Steven said…

    The song is absolute horse shit....I need to listen to old school Kylie (BTDYK? Spinning?)just to clear my palate.

     
  • At 3:11 AM, Blogger Paul said…

    i feel violated that this is compared to All The Lovers, but i have lost my mind to that Kylie song so nothing compares!!

     
  • At 3:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    it's not amazing by any means, it's not horrible either, it's just ok.... i does sound that that Kara lady from american idol wrote this, i have no idea as i haven't seen the credits either, but it sounds like any other kelly clarkson song that she wrote, right??

     
  • At 8:51 AM, Blogger John said…

    Right there with you. I worry sometimes that my bias about an artist and their publicity whore ways jades my view of their music. I don't love the song, but I don't hate it either.

     
  • At 9:45 AM, OpenID loveincminor.com said…

    Aren't all of the current pop tunes (Robyn, Katy, Kylie, Kelis - ooh lots of Ks) just gimmicky marketing though? Are these girls progressing their careers as serious music artists or really just out to make some cash? I used to love pop music and really, really want to, but lately it hurts my head as mostly I hear generic copy/paste versions of each other. Kylie seems to gain some credibility due to her career longevity, superb image and gay-targeting media savvy but her music sounds to me just like the others. She's effectively taken Madonna's spot on the pedestal which I admire.
    Back to your post though...Katy is awful.

     
  • At 12:16 PM, Blogger D'luv said…

    To clear something up, I'm not saying "Teenage Dream" is as good as "All The Lovers," "Dancing On My Own," etc. What I noted was that there appears to be an underlying sadness or longing within the tune, a la those others.

     
  • At 2:54 PM, Blogger Joshua said…

    Much better than California Gurls, but that's like saying dirty urine water tastes better than acid.

    I hate that stupid viral "California Gays" video for making every gay man on facebook believe that they L-O-V-E "California Gurls". It SUCKS. :(

    And to harmonize with the choir, THERE IS NO COMPARING CG w/ All The Lovers or Dancing With Myself! The nerve, D'Luv, the nerve!!!

     
  • At 4:17 PM, Blogger D'luv said…

    Read my above comment, ho!

     
  • At 10:06 PM, Blogger Fritz Liess said…

    Okay, the "bloody cane canes" typography on the digital version of her album cover has tipped me in your direction.

    This is pretty gawdawful!

    http://www.albumartexchange.com/covers.php?id=111063

     
  • At 12:43 AM, Blogger Michael said…

    WOW! So glad someone else feels the same way I do. I hated I Kissed a Girl and think California Gurls is even worse. But I liked Hot N Cold (thanks to Jason Nevins) and just heard Teenage Dream tonight for the first time and said to my bf, "this song is so much better than her last."

    Thanks for your very validating post!

     
  • At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Josh Healy said…

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  • At 7:46 PM, Anonymous The fish taco said…

    I wouldn't fuck Katy Perry's dick with Russell Brand's pussy

     
  • At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Songwriters: Katy Perry, Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee, Benjamin Levin Dr. Luke

    I can't spend too much time thinking about Katy Perry, I just gave in and surrendered to her. Her songs are irresistible.

     
  • At 1:36 PM, Anonymous MW09 said…

    This song sounds like something that would make the Top 10 unfortunately. Lastly, her voice sounds horrible as usual.

     
  • At 5:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think your assesment of her as "disingenuous" is pretty spot-on. I've tried to give her the benefit of the doubt, but I can't get past the underlying negativity of "Ur So Gay," and then when you follow that up with "I Kissed a Girl" ... It just all feels so wrong. Furthermore, songs like "Waking Up in Vegas" are of course just crap.

     
  • At 3:05 AM, Blogger Lin Shijun said…

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