I’m not sure how much of an argument there will be here. Hell, I haven’t even heard this Katy Perry song yet, but the world has, and I’m sure plenty of you CoS readers will have something to say. So, as usual, let ‘er rip and break the seams wide open here, folks.
-Michael Roffman, Editor in Chief
Unless you’ve been living underneath a fucking rock for the last four months, you haven’t been able to avoid the song “I Kissed a Girl”. It’s a hit across the world. Not the country, not the western speaking world, the actual world. The song came out a while ago, but somehow people are still finding this “music gem”. So I must know, is this song any good? Well, the song’s being played on repeat while I’m writing this, so take what you will from that.
Let’s take a look at Katy Perry. She has a lot of things going for her. For one, she’s a brunette, so musically she’s edgy as shit. If The Ramones taught us anything, it means black haired people are hip and cool. Katy Perry has the black hair thing down pat. Not to mention, she could change her clothing and image over and over to get harder edged if she needed to, so that’s always a plus. Furthermore, she also has the odd spelling in her name, so anyone familiar with names knows this girl is down to party. I don’t even need to hear the song, it’s all in the name. Also, I don’t know who knows this but this is Perry’s second album, too. She stormed the Gospel charts as a Christian Gospel under the name, Katy Hudson. Since then, she got sexed up, released the song, and has done a guest spot on The Young and The Restless.
On the eighth day, the Lord looked back upon the world he created and realized that it needed Pro Tools and music producers, so the He sent numerous M-boxes to his disciples.
My point is, you give any halfway decent music producer a decent Christian singer who is cute and you can have a hit. The raw vocal talent is there, the producer just has to have “megahit” juice left in him. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons people think this song’s popular.
It has 80’s New Wave dance style.
It does, I can’t argue that, and I like Duran Duran. So, I can’t really complain. My favorite decade, the 80’s, is back and has been for a few years, but the fact that it’s in the mainstream is sad because now all the bandwagon 80’s guys will jump off. For example, Bloc Party stopped making 80’s sounding albums after Silent Alarm. Don’t worry, I will ride the 80’s craze ’til it dies a slow painful death, but still it’s a sad moment.
No it’s not. The island of Lesbos, homosexuality, girls experimenting with their friends, and guys drooling over said experimentation have all been around since Boys Don’t Cry came out on DVD (and long before that, actually). But, hey, they really started a trend with that film!
The song is insanely catchy.
It is, and in this crazy time of viral videos, ad slogans, endless movie quotes, Adderall, and meth, it’s always nice to have something short and catchy to spend our time on. I read books, I keep up on politics and I am worldly to a degree, but if we could deliver information inside of this song, people could learn a lot. Plus, cheap shot drum lines make any song catchy.
Mix those drum lines, synth sounds, and “controversial” lyrics and you bridge the gap between lyrical people and musical people; in other words, they can all come together. College girls who experimented, well they love the song because it speaks to them. Guys love it because the singer is hot and anytime a girl can sing along (“I kissed a girl and I liked it”) at a bar, guys will be ready to pounce. School marms also enjoy the song because it’s so damn catchy and they dream of a time when they can let loose. Lonely guys can also like it because no one is around them anyway, so music doesn’t have any negative connotations. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the video is sexy, so there’s that, too.
The critical side of me is saddened that somehow this song is controversial and popular. It’s tame at best and while catchy, is very cheap, meaning it could be done by others. My moral side of me dislikes the content of the song and the seemingly nonchalant way of bringing up a real problem in society of women throwing around their sexuality like a jacket; whereas, my 80’s side loves the new wave style to the song and is happy that the 80’s sound has taken the mainstream hostage. To be honest, it’s a pleasant surprise. To really take a stretch, my feminist/lesbian side (Hey, it does exist, I own Le Tigre albums!) thinks it’s utter bullshit to have a song about a real problem like women viewing a choice of lifestyle as a joke and fun thing to do on the side. My marketing side of me loves how this song would be perfect for an animated Pixar movie, involving a talking frog that turns into a prince when kissed by a princess (think about it). My caring male side is happy to see girls with low self-image enjoy a song and make them feel sexy while singing it. My other male side is happy to see chicks embrace their slutty nature and happy there’s a song to easily identify the ones down to party. And you thought I was just two-faced, huh?
Normally, a song only brings out either my asshole side or passionate music lover side, so maybe this song isn’t so bad or at least it being bad is only one part of the equation.
Conclusion: “I Kissed a Girl” is a catchy 80’s inspired pop tune that can somehow enter the mind of a lot of people. The lyrics of the song are, indeed, controversial, but more due to the fact that people don’t think it’s controversial at all. Katy Perry is hot, I wish I still worked on The Young and The Restless so I could have been there. Sadly, a lot of the greatness of this song comes from the amazing production, not her talents as a singer or songwriter.
Court adjourned. Time for recess.