Song Of The Week - Katy Perry - Teenage Dream
Let’s start with the movie stuff. Two years ago, Katy Perry made a documentary-cum-concert movie entitled Part Of Me. But the title was a misnomer. This wasn’t part of her, this was all of her. For Perry is that most contemporary of beasts – a complete product. A product of modern celebrity culture, awash with all the trappings of social media and all of the implications that brings. Here is someone who seems incapable of living her life in any way that doesn’t notify everyone within mass-media earshot of each and every way she’s living that life, down to the second. And it’s not just that she seems incapable of doing it any other way, it's that she never shows any desire for anything else. (And don’t get us wrong – we’re not accusing Ms Perry of being unique in this – merely indicative. And we don’t judge her for this – we wouldn’t be making her Song Of The Week is the love wasn’t there.)
Her movie was clearly influenced by Madonna’s Truth Or dare (or In Bed With Madonna, depending what part of the world you live in.) But while Madonna’s film was full of irony and judgement and – that rarest of things – wit, Perry’s film was an almost unparalleled mash-up of voyeurism and narcissism.
The highlight of the film came when Perry allowed what appears (??) to be the break-up of her then-marriage to Russell Brand (via cell phone) to be shown unblinkingly on screen, before she wipes away the tears, puts on that overly photographed brave face and – literally – rises up on stage to deliver an absolutely staggering Firework. It was a moment of both cinematic and pop genius and, strangely, despite itself and the feeling that everything in her life is being done for the cameras around her, managed to find a genuineness in her. Even a vulnerability, which helped turn Part Of Me into a great movie.
That said, we haven’t gone for Firework, but for another song from the same album, the title track, Teenage Dream (also featured big in the film, of course.). Stats tell us this was the first album to have five number ones since Michael Jackson’s Bad, the first ever by a woman to do so (well obviously, if it was only the second ever, and Michael Jackson, whatever he ended up as, it certainly wasn’t a woman.)
But we don’t care about stats. All we care about is finding another perfect pop record, and Perry’s Teenage Dream is a total dream in that capacity.
Listen to it, and, for three minutes at least – you will be young forever. And what more can you ask of a perfect pop song that that?
(And then go and watch the movie – it’s rocks.)
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