Katy Perry - 'Teenage Dream'
When I was a child, we didn't always have a lot of biscuits or chocolate in the house. There wasn't a total ban on biscuits or chocolate, but sometimes there weren't any, and sometimes there were. I don't recall feeling an absence of biscuits or chocolate in my life, nor do I recall taking them for granted, or that I had a right to expect biscuits or chocolate whenever the urge took me.
As such, I tend to think I've a fairly healthy relationship with biscuits and chocolate. I don't feel the need to tell everyone that I like to eat biscuits, or put pictures of myself tucking into a box of chocolates as if to say "SEE MUM? I'm FULLY GROWN NOW AND CAN EAT WHAT I DAMN WELL PLEASE!". In fact, this is probably the first time I've mentioned whether or not I even like biscuits or chocolate in a public place, and it's not as if I haven't had the opportunity.
Having seen the cover of Katy Perry's new album, I think it would be fair to assume - even if we didn't already know - that certain things were kept under such a tight lock and key that she just HAS to show EVERYONE that she is FREE to DO WHAT SHE LIKES NOW.
And no, I don't mean eat biscuits. Or chocolate.
(Here's the video. Steady on!)
She does seem to know her way around the topography of the fragile teen heart though. Well, her and Bonnie McKee, who co-wrote the song. Those bubbling feelings, trapped under the surface, have clearly been thoroughly raked over, or they wouldn't be so perfectly recalled. All of that emphasis on trust, on possible regrets, on "just love" comes from someone who remembers what it is really like to worry about making mistakes when you're only just getting your instincts together.
The verses are all so perfectly in the moment, so well judged, that it's bound to trigger memories of first love, or even the early days of new love, in anyone that hears it. That giddy mix of desire and uncertainty, dread and excitement.
This is all very useful, because there are other bits which are harder to love. The fact that it's just a four-chord spiral of a song gets a little wearing towards the end. Katy's upper-register mooing is still sonically unlovely, and the chorus is a bit of a let down. It's basically one note, artfully arranged across the same chords, but, and this is crucial, a bit louder than in the verses. This is how you know it's the chorus.
That's it for the bad news though. In every other respect this is going to be huge and it deserves to be huge.
I'm sure Mr and Mrs Perry will be very proud (once they've stopped blushing furiously and wondering what they did wrong).
Neon Limelight says: "Because the entire video has a vintage-y look, the scene just seems like gratuitous flaunting of Josh Kloss' sweaty hotness."
The Reflective Inklings says: "People, you have to understand that 'Teenage Dream' is miles ahead than 'California Gurls' in terms of overall quality and polish."
The Chemistry Is Dead says: "Teenage Dream is a total Dr Luke/Max Martin affair and even though she sings as though there's a BIG. FULL. STOP. AFTER. EVERY. SYLL.A.BLE. like Ca.li.for.nia Girls before it this is a sweet song."