Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Music News: Battle of the Divas - Katy Perry vs. Lady Gaga

By John Hill

The Pop Gods took pity upon mankind this week, with not one pop diva releasing new music, but TWO! Because every gay boy will have an opinion, let’s break down the new offerings from Katy Perry and Lady Gaga who both have new albums coming out in mid-October.

Katy Perry - Roar
At first glance, this is a paint-by-numbers pop song for 2013 preceding her upcoming disc Prism. That opening bit sounds just like Sara Bareilles’ current single “Brave,” and the verses steal vocal stylings from Avril Lavigne, but the chorus is decently solid. There isn’t anything all that substantial to the track, and even the backing track sounds a bit half-hearted, but don’t count the track out because after a few listens it WILL be stuck in your head. A decent track, but a bit of a letdown next to much stronger cuts from her last album Teenage Dream.

Lady Gaga- Applause
If “Roar” sounds like someone is capitalizing on current musical trends, then “Applause” starts out cashing in on a retro mid-80s punk sound pioneered by female-led groups like Missing Persons and Berlin. In fact, Gaga seems to have taken a few notes from Dale Bozzio in her vocal style and delivery on those verses (“I’ve heard your theory/nostalgia’s for geeks” hits home instantly). But once she segues into the anthemic chorus, it’s all Gaga vocally and the track takes flight. This is how you kick off the promotion of a new album like ARTPOP.

So who wins this Battle of the Divas? Gaga, and it wasn’t even close. Both tracks are now on Amazon and iTunes, so cast your vote with your wallet and let your inner diva OUT!

While his full-time job is in education, John Hill also writes a successful music blog titled Pop Music Notes. He is also active on Twitter @popmusicnotes and lives in Denver with his partners in crime James and Bruiser.