Response to The Problem With Katy Perry’s “Prism”:
Pop music has little to do with music, and everything to with branding. This talk of other artists “pushing boundaries” is absurd. Rhianna, Gaga, and Miley are not “pushing boundaries,” but causing controversy. Perry’s label and managers have created an identity and her new album only reinforces that image. This is the same image that they’ll use to sell a Katy Perry inspired clothing line at a national retailer, a perfume sold at every major department store, and a line of school supplies with her face plastered all over notebooks and binders. She’s still playing up the silly lyrics and fun theatrics because they make her appealing to young girls (one of the most influential demographics in the American economy), but she has to sing a ballad every now and again, or sex things up, so that she’s still relevant for adult audiences, otherwise, she becomes a gimmick, like boy bands who will quickly loose steam *cough cough One Direction cough cough*. Very few pop singers are able to break into this marketing goldmine, so the fallback for promoters is to make the singer “edgy” or capitalize off a niche audience and sell them on the artist’s “message” or “art,” which is a cheap way at saying, “this music sucks, but if you don’t like it, then you don’t get art.” That’s dumb. Basically, what I’m getting at, is that’s it’s a waste of time to over analyze Perry’s music, because the business executives who made her career could care less about the music. This album accomplishes all of their goals: it sells her image to wide a audience and the songs are radio-friendly, prime for DJs to remix them at bars and clubs, and are clean enough that they can sell them to advertisers. They’ll make bank. That’s all they care about.