Katy Perry – I Kissed a Girl

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.

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2 Responses to Katy Perry – I Kissed a Girl

  1. musicosity1 says:

    I doubt a gender-switched version by any young man singer of that moment (Bieber? Timberlake? Usher?) would have received the same tittering appreciation. Men want women who act like men. Within the psyche of the male listener, a freaky, curious girl (see also songs by Rick James, Pussycat Dolls) maybe would be adventurous with you too, if only you could find her. Even within the song (and certainly outside it), transgression was the goal, and kissing simply the means: “Curious…just to try it… Don’t (sic) mean I’m in love tonight.” Plus, the general theme and specific title belonged also to a minor hit by alt-folkie Jill Sobule back in 1995. Poor quality link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FdwUGwasck

    The distorted guitar fits in with the rock direction Coldplay were taking us yesterday, but the heavy synths also point to the club music that will dominate the music scene in the near future. Too bad most of that EDM lacks the melodic sense brought here by Max Martin and Dr. Luke, who have enough sense to get in and get done in three minutes.

  2. Pingback: Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg – California Gurls | We Are Number Ones

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