The Great Debate: Lady Gaga’s ‘Applause’ vs. Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’
I should preface this post by saying I know very little about music; my favorite CD is “Falling Into You,” and my iCloud account features everything from Blu Cantrell’s classic “Hit ‘Em Up Style” to “My Neck My Back.” (Whatever, it was college.) Even worse, I don’t particularly like Lady Gaga or Katy Perry. “Alejandro” and maybe “California Girls” were fine; but the way the Internet treats these singers like great messiahs who will save the world, lyric by lyric, beat by beat, makes me sad and occasionally uncomfortable.
But when you work for a celebrity news site, there are certain things that you cannot avoid (like, you know, Justin Bieber’s backside), especially when two giant pop stars release new singles within 24 hours of each other. So, I went ahead and listened to Lady Gaga’s “Applause” and Katy Perry’s “Roar” this afternoon. I collected some thoughts on each, which you can read below (and subsequently complain about in the comments).
The last time Lady Gaga released a lead-off single (“Born This Way”), everyone got mad because it sounded a lot like Madonna’s “Express Yourself” (allegedly). This one doesn’t sound anything like Madonna (which is good, considering what she’s been putting out lately) — but it also doesn’t sound much like anything at all, really. Sure, there are ’80s influences in there somewhere (it’s kind of like the Eurythmics meets TRON) and the lyrics are pretty good. (I liked the chorus.) But everything inevitably gets drowned out by the production’s harsh beats, which actually made me yearn for the simple pop-friendly days of “Just Dance” and “Poker Face.” Is this what ARTPOP is? Is this art? I don’t think I like it either way.
Oh, a simple pop-friendly beat! Awesome. But, agh, these lyrics. “I’m floating like a butterfly / Stinging like a bee, I earn my stripes.” I could almost write that! Anyway, some are saying the song is actually just a rip-off version of Sara Bareillis’ “Brave” (which, now that I know what that is, sounds fair); I say it sounds more like a good chunk of the songs Katy Perry has produced over the last few years. Which is disappointing for two reasons: 1.) it’s a little lazy; and 2.) that means “Roar” is probably going to be #1 on the charts for the next 10 weeks. (The most annoying part, though? That that “O-a-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh” hook, mostly because I can’t get it out of my head.)
Am I crazy? Are either of these songs legitimately good? Wasn’t “Falling Into You” amazing? Choose your side in this never-ending pop battle by voting in the poll, below.