First Hit #1: July 5, 2008
I Kissed a Girl is kind of a cheap provocation, a silly song about lipstick lesbians that is a bit too proud of how naughty it thinks it is. It’s not that naughty really, but since it’s pitching it at a teenage audience who still doesn’t know what to do with whatever sexuality they’ve managed to pull out of the proverbial hat, it does get a number of titters from that generally silly market. In a way it probably has a certain appeal to that market, it has the same kind of naivety that strikes when young people discover alcohol and each other, where it’s still fresh and exciting and kind of forbidden, rather than when they’re much older and they realize how normal a lot of the giggle-inducing naughty behavior actually is.
Still, the song has merits, with crunchy guitars and a shouted chorus that makes the best out of Perry’s decidedly odd voice. It’s also quite enthusiastic about all of the varied elements. Perry used to be a Christian singer, and that’s only relevant in the sense that this definitely has the vibe of someone thrilled by being able to explore territory previously forbidden. Sure, the territory might not be all that new or all that daring to a lot of people, but Perry is taking on something she couldn’t explore as a preacher’s daughter, whether that means kissing girls or doing a guitar driven pop song. No wonder it connected to a wide market, people love acting out in the most harmless manner possible, especially teenagers.