Scratched Into Our Souls

Katy Perry – “California Gurls” | July 8, 2010

Pop music post-“Bad Romance” is radically different. Okay, maybe not radically different, but there has certainly been an appreciable change that one can point at. Everybody from Christina Aguilera to Miley Cyrus to Katy Perry have traded in their old sound for this new bastardized electro-pop-house-club hybrid, to a variety of different outcomes. Remember when “I Kissed A Girl” was considered scandalous? Those conversations seem rather dated and reactionary now that we’ve seen the “Telephone” music video and had to deal with questions like whether or not Lady Gaga has a penis or is a mindless pawn of the secretive Illuminati cult with a plan to brainwash the world. Christina Aguilera’s Bionic may very well be the pop let-down of the year, and Miley Cyrus’ Can’t Be Tamed has drastically underperformed on the sales charts. So, the music industry will look to Katy Perry’s newest album as the best (and last) chance for huge sales by a female pop artist in 2010 – unless, of course, Lady Gaga herself releases a new album like she says she will. 

Katy may be under a lot of pressure to deliver, but the album’s first single has performed miraculously well, and also exceeded my own expectations. “California Gurls” is a sugary electro-pop anthem for the West Coast, and was rightfully conceived as a response to Jay-Z’s celebration of New York from last year, the “Empire State of Mind.” It’s title is an obvious homage to two other bright and catchy pop tunes that belong on every summer playlist, The Beach Boys “California Girls” and Big Star’s “September Gurls.” While Katy Perry places herself squarely in the shadow of those two mega-popular classics, “California Gurls” manages to stand on its own as one of the de-facto summer jams of 2010.

The song has even inspired a few decent remixes (along with hoards of terrible ones: MSTRKRFT and Passion Pit, I am definitely looking in your direction), including the club-banging synth-heavy Hyper Crush remix, a grimey dubstep remix by George Lenton, and a positively funky mash-up with a Notorious B.I.G. classic.

Whatever version of “California Gurls” you decide to listen to, one thing is certain: it’s irresistible summer fun, so drop the pretenses and blast it loud through your stereo.

Listen: Katy Perry – “California Gurls (Feat. Snoop Dogg)”

Listen: Katy Perry – “California Gurls (HYPERCRUSH REMIX)”

Listen: Katy Perry – “California Gurls (George Lenton Dubstep Remix)”

Listen: Katy Perry vs. Notorious B.I.G. – “Back To Cali Gurls”


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    About Me: Chris Robinson

    A budding writer and avid music fan from Los Angeles, California, I am a recent graduate of Music History from UCLA's Herb Alpert School of Music. I've written for the UCLA Daily Bruin, graduated valedictorian from high school, and enjoy many different types of music, from The Beatles to Beethoven, and everything in between. I wrote my senior thesis on lyrical misinterpretations in popular music, focusing on Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA."

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    All music posted on this blog is for sampling purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Go out and buy their music, attend their shows, and buy merchandise.

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