In Defence of Katy Perry’s Bon Appetit

Rihanna doing Shut Up And Drive. Lady Gaga‘s Just Dance. And Katy Perry joyfully proclaiming the words Hot n Cold. What do they all have in common?

Well, we’d be absolute shits if we didn’t tell you. They represent pop’s great anachronisms, the rose-tinted retrospective that cloud everyone’s judgement and make us want to shake the entirety of music Twitter with one message: Expect. More. From. Your. Popstars. For fuck’s sake.

Look, we’ll admit that we’re no Katy Perry stans – Chained To The Rhythm was a misfire, and Prism probably won’t stick in anyone’s head. But you only need to look as far as the sleeve of Bon Appetit (can’t be arsed with the accent, soz) to know that K-Pez ain’t playing. In fact, she’s very much signalling the fact that you need to drop everything you know about her and start listening rather than demanding.

The cut-paste artwork, the haircut, the whole damn garishness of it all. Sure this is the woman who once spaffed out cream from her cupcake norks, but there is little doubt about how savvy she is. These are calculated moves – in the best way – to get people talking and to indicate a gear shift. Not to mention an attempt to combat the sheer tone-deafness of fairweather KatyCats, a name she’s probably embarrassed by at this stage.

To the song itself: the beats are delightfully skittish, the subject unquestionable. Perry’s leans more towards R&B-pop than she ever has before, clearly taking in the sort of sounds that are doing well in both charts and blogs and merging them for something that sounds ridiculously fresh. And by the time that addictive chorus comes along, one thing is clear: she pulls it off with unexpected brilliance.

The result is a fresh excitement for whatever Katy Perry might do next. She’s brushing off all that expectation and clearly doing what she wants – creating bops that might baffle people to begin with but end up determining the zeitgeist. It’s a lesson Carly Rae Jepsen probably needs to follow: doggedly follow Twitter stans and stay languishing in a familiar purgatory, or allow yourself the opportunity to grow and deliver work like Anti, Joanne, and – we’re pretty certain – whatever record Katy Perry puts out next… except Migos. There is literally no defence for Migos.

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Katy Perry - Bon Appetit (feat. Migos)
Katy Perry - Bon Appetit (feat. Migos)