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Katy Perry

"California Gurls"

[Capitol; 2010]

By ; May 26, 2010 

Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOG

It’s hard to critique a mainstream pop song, because naturally the first thing one notices is the poor lyrics. And as is often the case, lyrics are not the main priority with this kind of music. But let’s not fool ourselves, people don’t listen to Top 40 stations for deep and meaningful lyrics, they just want a simple, fun and infectious song that is easy to digest. Because “California Gurls” has awful lyrics like “sun kissed skin so hot we’ll melt your popsicle” or guest Snoop Dogg’s gem “Girl’s a freak she drives a Jeep” – the song has to be catchy and enjoyable to excuse those kind of atrocious lines. “Gurls” fails to achieve this. Unlike her past singles “Hot N Cold” or “Waking Up in Vegas”, this really has a flat chorus. And when a song completely relies on the hook, if it’s not there, the song falls apart.

The whole song feels way too over-produced and inorganic, especially the pre-chorus, which feels choppy, and the lyrics are almost spoken to you, as there is nothing really melodic to support them. It almost feels like they were going through the motions to get to the chorus – which in itself is lazy. I can’t see this being the “summer jam” that Perry and her label wanted it to be. Katy Perry said that since New York had “Empire State of Mind” as its anthem – so too, should California have an anthem. The problem with that is, “Empire State of Mind” has an incredible hook, and California already have the Beach Boys’ “California Girls'” as our anthem.


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