Katy Perry is, and has always been, incredibly lucky to be where she is. If nothing else, her story depressingly proves that a musician need not be fettered by lack of singing talent in their quest for the hit parade. Ms. Perry doesn’t strike me as particularly bright, nor particularly well-endowed vocally.

That said, I have enjoyed a surprising number of her songs. “Hot n’ Cold,” “Teenage Dream,” and “Waking Up In Vegas” are all songs that, while decidedly not perfect, manage to find a nice balance between catchiness and actual songwriting merit. It’s a pity that they have to be sung by such a gasping, grating vocalist (illustrated below).

She is also a decent lyricist (or co-lyricist, as I suspect is most often the case). Her verse is by no means revelatory, but by the dismal standards of pop music it might as well be Wordsworth.
But enough about good music, let’s talk about “Wide Awake.” Katy Perry has been heading toward this for some time, ever since “E.T.” That song seemed to indicate that she had exhausted her store of hummable melodies, but at least it was weird enough not to be boring. Not so for “Part of Me,” a painfully tedious song with insultingly simple lyrics and a profoundly unmemorable tune. It’s not a terrible song, it just barely exists.

“Wide Awake” is basically that, but a tiny bit more heartfelt (at least lyrically). Why did I waste most of this article talking about other Katy Perry songs? Because there is nothing interesting to say about “Wide Awake.” It is like an undiscovered planet, identifiable only by what surrounds it, conspicuous only in its absence.

One thought on “Hit Song Review: "Wide Awake" by Katy Perry

  1. If you ever use the phrase “well-endowed vocally” again, you might consider breaking it up with some punctuation: a comma, a dash, even an ellipsis if you're in that kind of a mood. Then put a frame around it and mount it on the wall. (Now removing my tongue from my cheek.) Glad to see you're writing this more often, keep it up!

    Like

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