I’m not really a hundred percent sure how I feel about this track. Thing is – and J will pull me up on this one for sure, somewhere down the track, so look out for an anchor link to a future derisory post – I think that Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ is a fantastic song. In an age in which popstars have come to rely on catchphrases and feature artists and bells and/or whistles, Katy – even when you strip away the boobs and the boyfriend – is a genuine talent. There aren’t many pop songs out there which are carried so convincingly on the sheer strength of the artist’s vocals alone. Usually because, from Ke$ha to Taio Blah, no such vocals actually exist. With KP, not only is the vocoding kept to a minimum but moreover, she’s got a strong enough voice to carry a pop song uncharacteristically devoid of all the technobleeps and autozips which weigh heavy on the hit singles of her contemporaries.
Which is reason enough, I reason, for Brother Z (when he’s on the continent) and I to blast the choon whenever it hits the airwaves (as it inevitably does) and sing, largely out of tune, along with the Katester. If ever there was a track to confirm Perry as a pop presence, it’s this. ‘California Gurls‘ has the same sort of lasting quality as the sugary aesthetic its hyped up video hinted at – a sugar rush that was all fun for a couple of weeks and then, suddenly, we got moody as fuck and started remembering why we hated Snoop. ‘Teenage Dream‘ offered up more promising, slightly less saccharine verses but was ultimately annihilated by a thumping, awkward and stupid chorus (Brea-king Up Sy-ll-a-bles Is A-nn-oy-ing). Which is all not to say that ‘Firework’ is by any stretch an intelligent song. ‘Boom, boom, boom. Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon’ is certainly in the running for 2010’s lamest rhyme. But melodically, it’s a memorable joint.
Actually acquiring this song into my music library (and a remixed version of it at that) took a fair amount of grit as I attempted, with varying degrees of success, to obliterate from my mind its accompanying video clip (in the running for 2010’s lamest short film). Mission accomplished, I sort of used this chillwave treatment (don’t ask about Gewurz, all I can tell you is that it’s an aromatic wine grape variety that performs better in cooler climates) to legitimize Katy’s third entry into the hallowed halls of PC_David. Which, in almost immediate retrospect (the best kind), I’m doubting as a valid move. Gewurztraminer has done an admirable job in Toro Y Moi-ing the track but when I think about it more deeply, his synth chords and drum machines add little to the equation. At base – and treat this post as a bit of self-psychoanalysis, because that’s what it’s turned into – it’s Katy’s vocals that make this song. To tell myself otherwise would be to lie to myself and to Perry. And she shoots shit out of her breasts so that wouldn’t be a good idea, would it?
Katy Perry – Firework (Gewurztraminer Remix)