Katy Perry – Firework

First Hit #1: December 18, 2010

Katy Perry’s inspiration to the downtrodden was inevitable. Teenage Dream was basically an album about everything being amazing and everyone being awesome, and with the stories of bullying inspiring other songs, with varying degrees of success, Perry was going to travel to that well. Perry also arguably manages to make the first one that succeeds in its aim, for one simple reason: it’s not about partying! It’s odd that she was the first to figure that out, but it’s actually important, because if people are struggling with being bullied, they’re not exactly going out to parties every night, and if they’re depressed, excessive alcohol consumption doesn’t really have any good consequences. It’s generic uplift sure, Perry’s Christian pop roots are showing in her desire to deliver inspiration to everyone she sees. It’s also pretty well done as a big dance track, having a great slow build before becoming this big explosion of beat and Perry’s own bombastic vocal.

It’s admittedly a bit cheesy, any song that attempts to be a big inspiring anthem isn’t going to escape that, and it’s still a pop song trying to capture the whole “It Gets Better” movement in under four minutes. But the fact that it actually seems to understand the people it’s trying to reach makes it head and shoulders above the songs trying to tackle the same issue via parties.

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One Response to Katy Perry – Firework

  1. musicosity1 says:

    Remember back when we were looking at early 80s music, and I talked about how much of it was about striving and building something cool, whereas we’d reach another era in which every pop song was about how every person is a special snowflake, and if you can’t be with the one you love, love yourself instead? Yeah, we’ve reached that era. In one sense, these self-esteem songs are less hedonistic than the zillion decadent club/butt songs we’ve seen. But in another sense, they still encourage people to think mainly about themselves rather than others. They’re just narcissism for sad people, whereas the club songs are narcissism for happy people.

    The chorus of this particular song also plagiarizes the pre-chorus of 1994 techno-pop hit Erasure’s “Always.” (Go to the 0:49 mark here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJ2WooX_QOA). Other than that, it’s a decent track musically, as would be expected from Perry’s Stargate collaborators.

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