*Note: Not real cover – wish it was*
Katy Perry has another number one.
It was inevitably going to happen, at least it’s better than ‘Roar’, right?
And by better I mean, MUCH better.
‘Dark Horse’ is the 9th chart topper for the pop star and first for Juicy J. If your keeping tabs Juicy is now the owner of an oscar and billboard number 1.
If you’re keeping tabs, Katy is now tied with Elton John, the Bee Gees, Paul McCartney, and Usher.
Here’s the thing, unlike ‘Timber’ (DALEE), ‘Dark Horse’ is actually the best and here’s why:
It’s Ironically Perfect
Getting past the fact that it’s Katy Perry singing the song is half the battle.
Juicy J starts the song by saying, “Lets Rage”. Who is going to rage with Katy Perry?
That is a question of the ages. Which leads to another question, will you rage with Katy Perry?
Bottom line, this is Katy trying to reach the Urban crown she had for a second when ‘E.T’ became her biggest number 1 in 2011. History repeats itself, which is why she even put a rapper on the track.
So urban. So cool.
The track was literally tailored to be a number 1 song, and this will probably be the last from her new album Prism, so Capitol Records is going to milk this for as long at they can.
You need get past that fact that one of the whitest artists alive is trying to rage over a trap beat, because that the lure of the song. That is what makes this so good. The songs not a classic, it’s not game changing, it’s ironic that she would try to be urban. She may be serious about it, we don’t have to be.
Plus it’s actually a catchy song.
It’s Melodically Perfect
The song was producer by Dr. Luke, which is no surprise considering his huge influence over her last album, Teenage Dream.
Max Martin was also a writer on the track, along with Katy, and that is not a surprise either because Max has written dozens of top 10 hits over the last few years.
If you put a dream team together your going to get a dream song.
The verses, the chorus, the hook – each melody is an earworm.
This isn’t one of those songs that only builds up to the chorus; it’s one that shines in every area. The chorus is the best part though, especially with her background vocals during the beginning.
The melody of the beat is also a highlight. The grimy synths that bounce the song along set the tone for the scary theme. But honestly, this is one of Dr. Luke’s best productions. It strays away from his normally poppy sound into something a little dark, a little trappy.
It’s Trap Perfect (aka Street Cred)
Just a quick definition, trap music is actually music was originally from the south, and normally was defined by the lyrical content of the songs. This mainly included drugs, and the struggle for success.
In 2012 pop producers began to influence trap sounds into their songs, mainly the use of high pitched synths and 808 drums started popping up all over top 40 radio. This turned actual trap music in the trap music we know today.
I’m assuming that Juicy J co-signed ‘Dark Horse’s sound. His group, Three 6 Mafia, were one of the first groups to popularize trap music, so he either agrees that ‘Dark Horse’ is ok, or he just wanted that pay check.
Either way, Katy is clearly a trap artist now and we must respect that.
It’s Juicy Perfect
Speaking of Juicy J, his charisma in the song is perfect.
The end of his verse where he holds out “addicted” leading into the last chorus:
The way he says “beast” in the first line-
His lyric play –
“Be careful try not to lead her on/ Shawty’s heart was on steroids/ Cause her love was so strong”
It’s all so bad that it’s so good. His personality is what sets him apart, and the song would not be the same without him.
It’s proof of Katie’s Magic (aka scary pop power)
My opinion about Katy has changed recently.
I didn’t like her when she came out. I thought that 2008’s ‘I Kissed A Girl’ was a sad attempt at attention. I thought that 2010’s ‘California Gurls’ was a Kesha rip-off (it was). Most of all I thought that she was the most thirsty artist during her Teenage Dream era. She did everything she could to beat Michael Jacksons record for most number 1 songs from an album.
Thankfully she didn’t win, but still managed to tie him.
All that changed when she released ‘Wide Awake’ in 2012. For some reason that was the song that gave me a clarity about her. It didn’t matter that she tried to steal a legends record, or that she was so desperately trying to be something big.
Plus the song was another smash.
She made catchy-watered down pop and that how she should be viewed. We’re not talking about a game-changer here, it’s Katy Perry.
So I finally could admit that ‘Teenage Dream’ (the song) was too good, and overall that Teenage Dream was deserving of it’s Album of the Year Nomination.
Whether or not it’s magic (ARE YOU READY FOR? READY FOR?) Katy is unstoppable right now, and that’s probably not going to change.
So we may as well be indifferent along the way, and rage all we can.