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It felt so wrong


Johnny got a boom-boom

Johnny got a boom-boom

As with last week, Later continues to amuse and offend. This week my beef is with Katy Perry – something of a phenomenon, apparently, with the cerebral I Kissed A Girl. Now: I was quite curious to finally hear this song. It’s at number one I’m told (the first one that’s grazed my attentionometers in quite some time), it’s arrived with the requisite inoffensive controversy story, and Perry’s just off the Warped tour – usually at least some sort of hallmark of non-lameness, however redundant these days.


Sadly, though not unexpectedly, my meagre expectations are quickly worn down. The performance commences with a somewhat pointless display of campanology that bears no relevance to the song itself, and that would have the noble bell-ringers of this sceptred isle foaming at the mouth in its thudding pointlessness. Fortunately that’s soon forgotten in a storm of fuzzed guitars ripped straight out of Josh Homme‘s manual. Lesson to the wise: do not try to be Josh Homme. Whoever you are, you are not as good as Josh Homme.

Then Perry herself quits jumping around the stage and gets on with the thinly-veiled tittilation that makes up her act, and so the secret is revealed. She seems to be fairly well of the understanding that there genuinely is no musical merit in this song, and is making it up in jiggling and smut. As my companion commented, she was making up for the fact that the song was rubbish by getting her baps out.

It’s an entirely artificial affair, with no eroticism in it at all: it’s an adolescent, lust-driven marketing fantasy, where the girl with big boobs kisses another girl with big boobs. The dire lyrics do little to make things any more intelligent, and the overall effect is a distinctly asexual affair, tawdry, smutty in the same way as Roy Chubby Brown, but utterly lacking any talent. Even if it’s backed up with excellent music, that sort of titillation as prime attraction has no place in any sort of music; if I had my way, whole swathes of exploited teenage girl singers and cloned boy bands would be swept away for ever. 

Sexy has a place in music: later on Later, Imelda May was frankly fantastic – you don’t know cool until you know rockabilly. May let the music do the talking without the need to resort to sub-Avril Lavigne posturing and flouncing, and while it wasn’t sexual, it was sexy in the way that only rock’n’roll can be. Pretenders take note.

See Later here, if you must, watch Katy Perry’s video here, if you must, or visit and listen to Imelda May, here, like you should.


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