What Is Going on With Katy Perry?
Bops of the Week 5.24.17.
Welcome to Bops of the Week!
There were a lot of big releases this week, with everyone from Liam Payne to Camila Cabello sporting new music. Hey, we even have a new song from Hailee Steinfeld gaining some traction.
Is any of it good, though? Let’s break it down.
The 1D Boy Gets Dirty
Liam Payne - Strip That Down
So we’re in full One Direction mode again. Lately, I have been enjoying Harry Styles’ album debut. It’s unique album. One that draws inspiration from the likes of The Beatle , and gives him a sound that distinguishes him from his boy band routes.
Liam, on the other hand, has taken a different route. I didn’t expect Payne to start a solo career, yet alone a Hip-Hop one. Almost a week after it’s release the song has held up alright, with many comparing Payne to Justin Timberlake. While I’m not sure I agree with that comparison, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing if he gets more radio play.
Overall, “Strip That Down” isn’t bad. It’s catchy, fun and harmless. This is, oddly, the most One Direction-sounding song of any solo venture so farm, even if it is more Hip-Hop than Pop. With so many artists vying for our attention, it’s a shame that this feels a little underwhelming. Here’s hoping that in future singles Payne separates himself from the pack.
Why Did She Leave Again?
Camila Cabello - Tears in the Club/ I Have Questions
It’s hard to know what to make of Cabello. Her infamous break up from Fifth Harmony wasn’t and shouldn’t be surprising, yet she was arguably the front-woman of the group. Similar to Zayn of One Direction, Cabello hasn’t wasted any time breaking out of her girl group routes, albeit with mixed results.
Her initial release “Crying In The Club”, while catchy, sounds eerily generic. It resembles Sia’s smash-hit Cheap Thrills, but without Sia’s unique stamp on it. Like Payne, and most other pop wannabe’s, there is a complete lack of individuality. I often wonder why artists like Cabello don’t take hints from Taylor Swift, an artist who (like her or not) writes lyrics that connect intimately with her fans. It’s what undoubtedly took Ms. Swift to the top of the music industry, yet we’re still receiving unrivaled genericism.
“I Have Questions” is the superior song here, unsurprisingly. Cabello’s vocals take center stage and she delivers a solid vocal performance. The problem, however, is similar to Fifth Harmony’s “Write on Me”, another song that confuses emotion with big vocals, a guitar and empty statements about love. Unfortunately, “Questions” is similarly safe and a bit shallow, even if it is a step in the right direction.
Alas, another Katy Perry Flop
Swish Swish - Katy Perry
Hi Katy, how ya doin?
Are you okay? Do you need some water? A snack maybe? Let’s sit down and talk about this. I really, really am trying to understand what is happening here. This isn’t you…Or at least I didn’t think it was.
Guys and gals, I’m very confused by Katy Perry’s supposed clap-back at Taylor Swift. What starts out as a fairly decent pop track dissolves into a glittery over-produced mess. By time Katy awkward chokes out “So keep calm, honey, I’ma stick around/For more than a minute, get used to it”, it’s clear Katy Perry is the most lyrically-troubled pop artist out there.
Somehow, it all sounds like a shotty pop-remix of Nicki Minaj’s Truffle Butter. It even has Minaj on the track. Minaj far outshines Perry here, just enough to keep the song from being a total dumpster-fire. I’m not sure what to expect of Perry’s new album Witness when it drops next month, but if we’re seeing more Swish Swish and less Chained To The Rhythm, Perry might just have the first major failure of her career.
Hailee Steinfeld - Most Girls
I’ve always liked Hailee Steinfeld, but as a lyrical-fanatic, I was never sure why. “Love Myself” is as bland as they come. “Starving” is shockingly cringe-worthy. Her music career thus far has been campy and certainly heavy-handed. So what works? The hooks. Accompanied by unique beats and messages of self-empowerment, Steinfeld is maybe the most poised to break into pop super-stardom.
“Most Girls” might be the best argument yet for Steinfeld. Unlike her past singles, Steinfeld’s controlled voice and solid production sell the message. It’s all very smooth and dance-able without ever coming across as corny. She certainly plays to her strengths. Now let’s see if she can take it to the next level.