There is no denying the pop mastery of Katy Perry’s 2010 album, Teenage Dream. It produced five #1 singles (the first album to do so since Michael Jackson’s Bad) and another that reached #3.
It also raised expectations for her next release to impossibly high levels — commercially if not artistically.
Based on early sales, that album — Prism — is another hit. Whether it will prove to have the legs of its predecessor (or the number one hits) remains to be seen.
I mentioned Katy Perry in yesterday’s Nicki Minaj post as the artist with whom big hooky choruses have become synonymous. Perry, over the course of a couple of years, has become the summer hit-maker all others envy.
Last summer’s defining song was her ‘California Gurls‘ and I would not be at all surprised if this summer she earned that crown once again with ‘Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)’
Perry recently released the ambitious video for this song, which includes cameos by Glee stars Darren Criss and Kevin McHale, Kenny G, Corey Feldman, Debbie Gibson, Hanson and Rebecca Black. Now that’s a random guest list.
One of my musical blind spots has always been the “summer single.” I often read end-of-the-year wrap-ups in magazines such as Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone and see references to smash hits that inescapably poured out of boomboxes and car windows all summer and I’m at a loss, having never heard a note of any of them.
I’m the guy who’d never heard Black Eyed Peas’ ‘I Gotta Feeling’ until I was called on it earlier this year. Yes, I’m serious.
I don’t really like Katy Perry or her music, but I have to hand it to her. She’s really carved out a niche for herself through her outsized sex kitten persona and a batch of songs that, shallow though they may be, are undeniably catchy. Delivering her sexy-but-safe pre-packaged pop, she’s a vision of lustful innocence — the prima donna and the whore.
It’s almost too good to be true that Perry was raised by a couple of pastors and began her musical career as a Christian artist. Who better to top the charts a few years later with a song about kissing a girl? The thing about that song is that, for all its bluster, it carries no sexual weight. Sure, maybe she kissed a girl, but afterward she probably turned away giggling.