We Can Do Better Than That

Some of my friends and I share music with one another while we work. We’re supposed to review/rate what gets shared with us, and share those reviews with the group, but that doesn’t always happen.

Katy Perry – Chained to the Rhythm (2017)

Katy Perry released this song a few days before the Grammy’s and performed it at the awards show. I’m not sure if Tim was sharing the studio version or the live version (which you can find here), but in the absence of anything else this week, it was easy to listen to both.

The beat is catchy. It reminds me of newer No Doubt – a little dancehall reggae, a little modern electronic pop. Which shouldn’t be surprising, considering how I felt about Katy Perry’s first record.

The lyrics didn’t really do anything for me. Except it seems like, after watching both the official music video (which blends The Hunger Games’ Capitol-level oppulence style with a pretty neat retro futuristic style) and the official lyric video, they should have meant more. It seems like Katy Perry is commenting on the sordid state of American culture; calling us all mindless rodents for blindly being chained to the rhythm put forth by her own industry. And she’s playing right into it. It seems pretty ironic. I don’t know, maybe I’m over thinking it, but that’s what I get out of it.

The only part of the song I’m not sure what to make of is Skip Marley’s cameo. Is it a money grab on his part? Did they invite him to lend the song an air of legitimacy? What would his dad (Bob) think? I have no idea about any of it.

I didn’t really like the live version. It was okay. Not better than the studio version though. And it’s visual message was way less clear. Did it change from a song about consumerism to commentary on American politics?

All in all, I’ll give it a 4/5. It made me think and was not at all vapid as I assumed it would be, although it does make me want to just listen to real reggae.

From my friends:

“I remember when reggae breaks were really cool. I wonder if that is coming around again. I like it better than Taylor Swifts white rapping in shake it off. Anyway, its always interesting to peek into pop and see where its heading. I don’t really want to spend a much more time with it though.” 3.0/5 – Spencer

The Honeydrippers – Volume One (1984)

I’m travelling for work a lot this week, and it’s a short week already, so I’m just giving you an EP.

Here is the only release from a band consisting of former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant, former Yardbirds guitarist (and successful solo artist) Jeff Beck, former Zeppelin AND Yardbirds guitarist Jimmy Page, Dave Letterman’s band leader/pianist Paul Schaffer, rockabilly/swing revival legend Brian Setzer (for one live performance), and a slew of studio musicians on horns. Essentially, they’re a ’50s rock band with a little big band jump blues thrown in. And it’s all thoroughly enjoyable.

Here’s what my friends had to say about this EP:

“This really wasn’t what I expected. You said jump music, but it really was mostly jump music. Which is ok, but the album overall seemed more to me like the Hollywood Vampires where its really just some celebrity musicians getting together to jam, pay tribute, and have a good time more than making incredible new music. I would probably really enjoy a live show if it, but as a studio album it was kinda middle road for me.” 3.6/5 – Spencer

Feel free to share anything  you liked, didn’t like, or you found musically interesting down in the comments section.

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2 thoughts on “We Can Do Better Than That

  1. Pingback: Let Simple Things Amuse; Sweeping Out the Worry, the Clutter in My Mind | An American Audio-logue

  2. Pingback: Don’t Let Them Applaude | An American Audio-logue

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