It’s a far more impactful vibe for top 40 than faux-political commentary, which Perry attempted on 2017’s Witness. (Remember the “dance to the distortion” plea on “Chained to the Rhythm” and that “purposeful pop” Vogue cover? ) This time, with Smile, she’s opted for broader strokes and relatable emotions: music with distinctly bummed-out lyrics set to “California Gurls”–style production.
Songs like “Rain on Me” and Katy Perry's “Teary Eyes” command us to dance and feel. “Just keep on dancin’ with those teary eyes,” Katy Perry wails on “Teary Eyes,” a slick, thumping jam from her fifth studio album, Smile, out today.
Perry recaptures some of that sugary-sweet optimism on Smile, with songs like “Not the End of the World” and “Harleys in Hawaii” that offer light messaging and even lighter tempos. (“Throw on your fancy attire, fears in the fire,” she exclaims on “End of the World. ” It feels like the cool, older sister of “Firework.
I'm stuck in my mind,” she sings on the ’90s-house-inspired “Alice. ” On “Plastic Doll”—which, sonically, sits nicely alongside the punchy Max Martin tunes of 2011—Gaga begs, “Don’t play with me! It just hurts me. ” And “Fun Tonight” isn’t about having fun at all, night or day. “I feel like I'm in a prison hell,” she sings. “Stick my hands through the steels bars and yell.
Songs like “Break My Heart” and “Boys Will Be Boys” sound radio-friendly on first listen, but they carry more weight than your average pop song. “It's second nature to walk home before the sun goes down / And put your keys between your knuckles when there's boys around,” Lipa says on the plucky, ethereal “BWBB.
Much of the music released this year was recorded before we even knew the term coronavirus, but there’s a resonant through line that’s worth noting—one that songs like “Teary Eyes” solidify.
Songs like “Rain on Me" and Katy Perry's “Teary Eyes” command us to dance and feel. https://t.co/IbZ0Az8fN7— Glamour (@glamourmag) August 29, 2020