Monday, Dec. 29, 2008

What's Next, Katy Perry?

By Evan Rytlewski
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Katy Perry’s One Of The Boys is currently number 55 on Metacritic’s list of lowest-reviewed albums, topping (if you can call it topping) Jennifer Love Hewitt’s BareNaked and Dogstar’s Happy Ending. Yet Perry defied the critics, and this fall proved herself more than one-hit wonder with a durable, damn catchy second hit, “Hot N Cold.”

That doesn’t change Perry’s fundamental challenge, though: She’s unlikable. Her debut singles introduced her as a brash, unsympathetic diva. She assailed her boyfriend’s sexuality on “UR So Gay,” then delivered an even louder single, “I Kissed a Girl,” a song less about bisexual romance than boyfriend manipulation. Even on her toned-down follow-up single, “Hot N Cold,” she doesn’t miss the chance to castrate the unfortunate object of her affections: “You P.M.S. like a bitch.” Poor guy.

Perry’s latest single, “Thinking of You,” a bleeding-heart ballad that channels Perry’s inner Alanis Morissette, will be a telling barometer of how much more life her career has. It’s currently hovering around the bottom of the charts in advance of a likely radio push, but after three singles were Perry so unceremoniously eats up and spits out lovers, will audiences be able to take pity on her in her new role as scorned woman, or has her public image already cemented? Working in her favor, at least, is a ridiculous video for the new single that ends in a barrage of blood and cleavage:



Perry clearly has plans for a sustainable music career. “I want to do a singer songwriter record in the future,” she told me in an interview this summer while plugging One of the Boys. “This is my pop record now. My next record could be a Joan Jett, ‘I Love Rock ’n Roll’ type of record. Then I want to do what Beck did, and make an acoustic record.” We’ll see in the next couple months whether she has any shot at making that third record.
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