Katy Perry feat. Migos – Bon Appétit

“It starts low with the mandatory school register, and never really improves.”

Tom: Chained to the Rhythm“, while we never wrote about it here, was a brilliant first single from the upcoming album, matched with a creative video. So surely the second one’s going to be at least clo– well, you can probably see where I’m going back to this.

Tom: Full marks for including the acute diacritic in “appétit”. No marks for basically any other part of this song.

Tim: Yeah. It starts low with the mandatory school register, and never really improves.

Tom: No melody to speak of. Repetitive as hell. Really dire lyrics that are just a series of bad food/sex metaphors. The unnecessary, but inevitable, rap middle eight.

Tim: You know it’s coming, you don’t want it to, because you know it’ll sound bad, but there it is anyway, adding absolutely nothing to the song at all.

Tom: The final chorus isn’t that bad, but by the time it arrives, I was more than ready to skip.


Katy Perry – Unconditionally

How many different ways can you stress the same word?

Tom: “Unconditionally”. Six syllables. The title of the song is a line of the chorus. And it’s awkward.

Tim: There’s snow in that video. Do you know what? Sod the “euro” bit. Can we just be Christmasplop! for the rest of December, please? I am feeling incredibly Christmassy this year, so CAN WE CAN WE CAN WE PLEASE?????

Tom: Yes, yes. Fine.

Tim: YAY!! And can we have that amazing thing where there’s snow falling down the screen?

Tom: No. This song. How many different ways can you stress the same word? Well, I guess we’ve just found out. And it’s repeated so much that, by the end of the song, I’ve stopped even hearing it as a word.

Tim: Hmm. The times when she stresses the ‘con’ do seem a tad egregious (big word, I know), but damn, regardless of that, what an incredible power ballad that is.

Tom: Noticing that, I suspect, has somewhat tainted my enjoyment of what is otherwise a pretty good, by-the-numbers pop ballad with an expensive, well-directed, by-the-numbers arty pop video. It’s difficult to say much more than that, though.

Tim: ‘Pretty good’? ‘By the numbers’? Well, actually, yes for the second, but damn, those are some BIG numbers and this is so much more than ‘pretty good’.

Katy Perry – Roar

“What the hell is that breakfast, anyway? Muesli, yoghurt and bacon?”

Tim: One of the biggest pop stars around yesterday decided to properly launch the much-awaited first single from her new album..

Tom: Ooh, Lady Gaga?

Tim: Now now, don’t get ahead of yourself – here it is.

Tim: An interesting take on a lyric video; you may recognise it as it has been done before, but not by anybody anywhere near as famous. One problem with it, though – the implication is that that phone’s battery will have a good 50% left by the evening. NOT A CHANCE LOVE.

Tom: I actually found the video really distracting: trying to decipher all the not-quite-emoji put me off the song entirely. So by the time it got to breakfast I’d switched to another tab.

And what the hell is that breakfast, anyway? Muesli, yoghurt and bacon?

Tim: Good grief, I’d not seen that – how very very odd. The tune itself, though? Rather good indeed, I’m pleased to say. Takes a while for the first verse to get anywhere, but once the chorus hits it really is wonderful.

Tom: Ooh, now that’s where I disagree. I don’t think there’s that much to it at all. The “hear me roar” is the message, but it’s not backed up by much at all.

Tim: You really think? The verses I agree with, but the chorus sends it to power-pop, catchy, inspiring banger mode. If we’re honest, this would also fit a key change perfectly, but there isn’t one so oh well. We’ll just have to make do with what we’ve got, but since what we’ve got is quite good anyway that’s not such a problem.

Tom: A key change would help, but really? This has gone as far as it’s ever going to go by about 60 seconds in.

Tim: Hmm. Here, it seems, we differ. Also, bonus fact: Harry Styles claims to have a phobia of the Marimba ringtone that is heard at the beginning of this video. No idea why.

Tom: I was worried that the whole track would be based around that ringtone. Someone’ll do it, sooner or later.

Katy Perry – The One That Got Away

For a sixth single, that’s bloody amazing.

Tom: Six singles from the same album. That’s called “milking it”, surely?

Tim: Not if you’re trying to beat Michael Jackson’s record of five number ones off the same album, it isn’t.

Tom: And when the singles are this good, maybe it’s not milking it at all. Maybe it’s justified. Because for a sixth single, that’s bloody amazing. And she’s got a songwriting credit on it as well – it seems this isn’t just a popular artist being given the best tracks.

Tim: It is good – although I must admit most of my attention there was on the video, which is just – wow.

Tom: And that’s a surprisingly emotional video for American pop. It doesn’t even have a typical saccharine ending: heck, even her jumping off the cliff “to be with him” could have been spun as a happier way to close that video. That’s going to have teenage girls bawling.

Tim: I don’t know if it’s because I’m writing this at one o’clock in the morning, but that really did get me a bit emotional. Blimey.

Katy Perry – Firework

It goes somewhere mediocre.

Tom: All right, it’s new Katy Perry track time. She’s got a fine way with earworms, so let’s see if this one’s just as catchy. It’s called ‘Firework’, but irritatingly it’s not released until the 15th November, far too late for Bonfire Night. Sort it out, Perry.*

* Incidentally, I would watch a show called “Katy Perry Mason”. Probably just the once.

Tom: It starts well, builds and builds, and just as you’re thinking “this has to go somewhere amazing”… it goes somewhere mediocre. This isn’t a summer hit, or even a ‘Teenage Dream’, and no number of string instruments in the chorus will help that.

Tim: The main problem is that the build-up is actually part of the chorus, so it actually disappoints three or four times throughout.

Tom: Sounds like a girl I knew once.

She’s also doing that thing where she just sings syllables rather than words, which is now starting to irritate the hell out of me. And the bridge is appalling – “boom boom boom / moon moon moon”? That’s scarcely Vengaboys-quality.

Tim: It is something Olly Murs could do worse than to take as an example. Just saying.

Tom: If ever there was a song in desperate need of a final-chorus key change, this is it – because it runs out of ideas about a minute in.

Tim: True. However, the lack of ideas does lead to repetition, which means that by the end of the song, ‘fiiiiiiiirewooooooorks’ has worked its way in and is almost enjoyable.

Tom: I wouldn’t go that far.

Europlop’s Sunday Mashups: Vol. 1

These past few weeks have been very good for mashups.

Tom: These past few weeks have been very good for mashups, so here are a few genius ones for you, starting with proof, if proof were needed, of just how good Lady Gaga is: her songs can be mashed up with nearly anything and still sound fantastic:

Monster Never Can Say Goodbye by marcjohnce-1

Tom: This is by Marc Johnce, and it combines moderately-good album track “Monster” with the Communards’ lesser hit “Never Can Say Goodbye” to create something amazing. Her modern, solo vocals over the top of eighties guitars and drums make something more than the sum of their parts.

Tim: First off, definitely no proof needed, and how can you even entertain the possibility that it might be? As for the track, it’s nice. One of the highest compliments I can pay is that I didn’t mind that it was quite long, and wasn’t hurrying it on to finish, because that’s ever so unusual on any track longer than four minutes.

Tom: Secondly, I know that this involves listening to the military-grade tactical nuclear earworm that is Katy Perry, but it’s worth it. This starts as a simple “take the lyrics from one song, add the backing from another” formulaic, and THEN Van Halen arrive. And THEN the beat kicks in.

Tom: This is one of those mashups that you can listen to for more than novelty value. And I know it’d never happen, but I’d love to see this played live.

Tim: This is Good, and something I can absolutely imagine Glen off of Tru pretending he made*. Yes, it takes a while to get going, but when it gets going it’s worth the wait. It pleases me.

* I am entirely aware that this will mean absolutely nothing to all but about twenty people in the whole world, but I feel it is a valid point and so I shall make it.

Tom: Finally, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is tired and overplayed; everyone knows it, and there’s not even any mystery left in trying to work out the words that Kurt Cobain’s mumbling. But as hundreds of mashups have proved, it can fit with pretty much anything. Including the Jackson 5.


Tom: Yes, it’s a novelty track, but I’m not complaining.

Tim: Made me smile, and overall is pleasant. The only annoying thing is those sudden pauses – I know they were in the Jackson 5 song, but they irritated me a bit. That said, I’m still feeling a little irritable after reviewing Ke$ha yesterday, and that may well have something to do with it.

Katy Perry – California Gurls

Do not make the mistake of listening to this. It’s a military-grade tactical nuclear earworm. I listened once, mainly for the video if I’m honest, and three days later the chorus is still occasionally with me.


Do not make the mistake of listening to this. It’s a military-grade tactical nuclear earworm. I listened once, mainly for the video if I’m honest, and three days later the chorus is still occasionally with me.

I hate you. I know perfectly well (and you know I know, which makes it even worse) that the only reason you told me that is because you want me to hear it; that I shall now want to listen to it, and thus be infected with aforementioned earworm as you are.

I could, of course, try to stay well away from it, but, as we both know, that would practically kill me, because even if I don’t listen to it now I will be trying to get to sleep tonight thinking ‘what was it about the song tom said i shouldn’t listen to, i really want to know’ … … ‘oh, probably nothing, just forget it and go to sleep’ … … ‘seriously, it was probably nothing, if you listen to it you’ll just give him exactly what he wants’ … … ‘oh, i’ll just turn my laptop on quickly, won’t take long, won’t be a problem, and then i can get some peace of mind’

Then, of course, I do turn my laptop on, hear it, and it is a problem, peace of mind is thrown out of the window and you get exactly what you wanted in the first place, except it’s even worse because it’s now going round in my head as I try to sleep.

As a Xanatos Gambit, it is impressive, and I salute you for it; as a way to treat a friend in real life it is pure evil, and I detest you for it.

Technically, it’d be Reverse Psychology rather than a Xanatos Gambit, but honestly, you’re giving me way too many evil points there.