I know I’m almost an entire day late on this one, and for that I apologize from the very bottom of my heart. But when Katy Perry released “Teenage Dream” yesterday, the title-track and second single from her forthcoming sophomore album, I felt I needed some time to really live with it, to soak up its myriad possible meanings and consider its subtle commentary on the human condition before sitting down to write about it.
Oh, wait, what? No, sorry I meant I didn’t get around to listening to it until this morning because I want to throw up every time I hear Katy Perry’s stupid, deeply affected voice. Despite what you may have seen on the internet, where everyone from critics to regular people seem to be cosigning on this, it’s awful. It’s about how she’s gonna fuck a dude because he makes her feel like a teenager and because he “gets her,” which is, like, a really big deal, because, like, Katy Perry is really complicated and, like, no one else understands her, you know? She sounds predictably ridiculous, all breathy and weak and endlessly studio-aided. Her phrasing is infuriating, too: words are shoe-horned into the melody all over the place, their accents in all the wrong places—for me, the surest sign of amateurish, poorly-crafted bullshit.
But hey, look, she’s naked and lying in a bed of cotton candy on the cover!