June 22, 2008

Katy Perry - One Of The Boys (2008)

Just when you think Pop Tarts© can’t come out with yet another flavor, they develop “next big thing” Katy Perry. I was hoping to discover my newest guilty pleasure on her major label debut, One Of The Boys, but yeah... [insert smashed hopes here]. Instead, I found something incredibly derivative that wasn't even created in a way to at least be considered decent pop rock.

Start with a dash of Avril Lavigne’s nasaly yelp, a touch of Alanis Morissette’s in-your-face tonality, a dollop of Linda Perry’s off-kilter vocal styling, a hint of Pink’s visceral energy and poof: pop starlet Katy Perry is born! With 40’s inspired pin-up girl looks, Perry belts out super-raw vocals with refreshingly tongue-in-cheek lyrics, such as “I lost my fake ID but you lost the motel key / Spare me your freakin’ dirty looks” from “Waking Up In Vegas,” a song dedicated to drunken revelry in, well, Vegas. And then there’s the anticlimactic love song, “Ur So Gay,” where she sings “I hope you hang yourself with your H&M scarf” over a reggae-tinged beat. Fortunately, these quirky elements separate her from other formulaic pop acts of today, but wait… as suspected, the rest of the record is mostly filler that only makes me long for the days of Lily Allen. Sigh.

Oh, there's a kicker: it was only 7 years ago that this daughter of two pastors released her first Christian gospel album, with a song titled “Faith Won’t Fail.” Huh? Maybe a hiatus made her realize that G-d can’t guarantee you the #1 spot on TRL… but shock and awe can? Evidently, when you can’t quite pull off the virgin-whore complexity that worked brilliantly for Britney Spears, the last resort in marketing strategy is concocting songs that titillate in completely different ways… example: providing anthems for prepubescent grrrls that will universally worry soccer moms, with songs titled “Ur So Gay” (...and you don’t even like boys) and “I Kissed A Girl” (...and I liked it, the taste of her cherry chapstick). Dayumn! I know girlfriend di-int just say that now, did she?!

Musicians who cultivate controversy in order to distract from the fact that their music is a garden variety of overproduced rubbish just plain irk me. Perry’s vocals are actually pretty strong, but blatant un-originality isn’t exactly a saving grace. Honestly, who allowed a cover of The Outfield’s “Your Love” with modernized lyrics tailored to the female point of view? Seriously, can’t people leave well enough alone? Must we butcher a classic? Now I know how the French feel when Americans go there and try to speak their language! And doesn't anyone remember Jill Sobule’s bi-curious hit-song “I Kissed A Girl” from the 90’s? At least Sobule’s foray was genuine since she followed it up with an “and I just may do it again,” whereas Perry instead chimes in with a “...I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it?” Clearly, she’s just trying to get a rise out of a neglectful boyfriend [and her listeners] by asking a question she already knows the answer to. No Katy, unless you're dating Lance Bass, he won’t mind… idiot.

The final verdict:
Don’t buy this, don’t even illegally download it for free. Just get “Ur So Gay” and “I Kissed A Girl” for those *rare* moments when you wanna sip on haterade while simultaneously getting your top-40 on.

7 Comments:

awmercy said...

The songs I've heard all sound very calculated, as if they mapped out the scope of the album with the help of a marketing agency.

Mona said...

Totally. It's like they created her in a lab when she should've just tried being herself. And the sad thing is, I actually really dig her voice... it's raw and strong, especially on "Lost" and "I Kissed A Girl," jokes aside, charges at you with such catchiness. Have you heard it?

awmercy said...

Here's Woodhand's keytar-n-drums cover of "I Kissed A Girl".

Mona said...

Gross! Why are people perpetuating this crap. Ugh. I'll check it out...

Adrianne said...

i enjoyed this album .. i even saw her live and was amazing ... best concert i have ever gone to =]

Mona said...

yeah, but was it live singing or a lip-synched performance? i've heard her live, she can barely hit the notes!

Mona said...

to be fair, the only one i really enjoy is "waking up in vegas."