This month sees a heavyweight champions match for the charts throne. Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga return with the respective singles “Roar”, “Wrecking Ball” and “Applause” to a music market that is set to move into post-summer hit territory after months of “Blurred lines” and getting lucky. The queen bees of Pop enter the classroom fighting for the definite A. All three, Cyrus, Gaga and Perry have their promotion lasers set on “kill” - and they are aiming at all of us.
From a queen bee you’d expect to be self-assured enough to be turning heads anyways. A queen bee doesn’t have to do anything to have an entourage of admirers following her every move. That’s why it always feels a little bizarre when big players in music biz start jumping for your attention. But then again, when it comes to Pop stars, we’re used to this schizophrenic behavior. You’d expect Lady Gaga to run around naked in a pointless video that is unrelated to her new album, sooner or later. Sooner, in this case, only means right on time to make some buzz about naked Gaga and then we can talk about the upcoming album. You’d expect Miley Cyrus to do everything to point out that she’s a grown up woman now (almost) and can buy her own beer at the gas station – even if it takes a giant rubber foam index finger and Robin Thicke’s crotch for all the pointing out. And maybe you’d even expect Katy Perry to get rid of all the iconic wigs and bras she sported last time around. All this just adds to the big narrative their careers are.
As an artist you always have to retell the story so far when the new album comes out – what happened between then and now to justify why your hair is green, your face tattooed or your shoes on fire. And each one of the queen bees has a different story to tell. Here’s a little recap of what we understood so far:
Lady Gaga turned into a serious artist giving her work a solid theoretic foundation. She’s closer to Warhol than to Stock, Aitken & Waterman now. She knows words like post-modern.
Miley Cyrus is grown up now (please repeat) – she wants people to see that she has a butt. That’s why she has to wear only bikinis. Hannah Montana is definitely dead.
Katy Perry is a real artist now. Don’t mistake serious and real. Katy Perry will definitely wear over the top costumes on her next tour. But “Prism” will be her self-reflection record – maybe she will not wear make up in the video to the big ballad from “Prism”.
So, who do you think will win the fight for number one?
We can only guess but expect the artist that has the most consistent story to tell to get the A grades. Will it be Lady Gaga? Maybe this whole ARTPOP concept is a little too pretentious for the average listener, but still it’s Pop circus big time. As long as she doesn’t talk too much about art history, there’s a good chance. At least all the crotch touching, laser-pointing Pop-iconography looks pretty natural on her, whereas this all seems to be rather a matter of training for Miley Cyrus. Since her story seems to lack a little substance behind the statement that she reinvented herself because she’s grown up now (just to clarify this once again). Because all her “wild” and “shocking” behavior always seems overly calculated we think she’s the least likely to make it to the top of the charts. And then there’s Katy Perry, adopting certain parts of the “it’s just me, a mic and my heartache”-strategy that helped Adele to become a major star. And we’re pretty sure that in combination with some flashy outfits and a “Party all night”-Single it will work again this time.