Well, this is sort of out of left field, but today, Katy Perry:
I know there’s a sort of tacit endorsement that comes with me posting these songs/videos on the site, IE, “I like this song and want to share it with you,” but for the next couple of days, let’s acknowledge that this… isn’t always the case and move on, yes?
One thing I’ve noticed in the past month or so is how pop musicians, for reasons I haven’t entirely figured out, have decided that late 90’s/early 00’s electronic/pop/hip-hop music was just the best thing and have started actively incorporating the aesthetics of that music into modern releases. In a broad sense, I get it; sampling has been a thing for decades at this point, and nostalgia for a twenty-to-thirty-something musician is probably going to be something from that time period (and, by extension, so it would also go for their audience), but in a narrow sense I don’t get why this happened three times in the span of the past month.
For a slightly less obvious example, take the above song. It’s fine, don’t get me wrong; I have a soft spot for Katy Perry, who seems to have an 80’s music video aesthetic to her presentations (IE telling a story rather than showcasing an elaborate dance routine) and often errs on the side of comedy (with the occasional venture into being a Mass Effect stan, apparently), so mostly I think her work is good enough. The song in question is also fine, in the same way most Perry songs are; there’s a solid message here (“don’t let haters dictate who you are, sink those metaphorical baskets”) and it’s kind-of sort-of implicitly dunking on Taylor Swift (who, sigh, we will be seeing soon enough here), so it’s basically fine enough as-is.
But stripping away the comedy music video, the “Shooting Stars” meme, the super obvious Ubisoft ad placement and the guest verse from Nikki Minaj (who we’ll be seeing again this week, unsurprisingly), careful listeners will notice both an intense love of 90’s aesthetics in this song (especially in the chorus; I see you, shout effect from “It Takes Two,”) and, for some odd reason, a sample of the Fatboy Slim song “Star 69,” which is… interesting.
It’s also, somehow, only the first song in this pattern, from three different musicians, somehow.