Who's new album will come out on top? Or will neither?
By Cathryn Salamone (Actor/Singer)
Hi, Crazytowners. As both a disclaimer and a proud preamble, I want to state that this article will unapologetically deviate toward that glitter-bombed, party-debris-strewn path of mainstream pop. Until recently, I was never on board with the current bawdy, synth-infused terrain that has become pop music...a land where brazen twenty-somethings own the night and dumb-blonde ignorance is cute naïveté. Or has that always been pop music?
Regardless, with many exceptions, I've become in love with it. Maybe it's because I've recently grown into its target demographic. Maybe it's because, as a college grad, I am prone to joining in the "young, broke, and fab" fist pump that pop music preaches. Who knows.
That set aside, both Lady Gaga and Katy Perry are releasing albums this fall. The two pop princesses, both with worldwide #1 albums, will be battling each other to see who's album will come out on top. I've compared the stats between Perry and Gaga to help us predict who will win.
New Album: Prism
Release date: October 22
Last album & release: Teenage Dream (2010), with extended edition released in 2012 as Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection.
Notables: Teenage Dream made Katy Perry the first female recording artist in history with five #1 hits. The Complete Confection produced yet another #1, "Part of Me".
I'll be honest. Straight up, I am giggly fangirl excited for this album. Katy Perry made it evident in her teaser trailers (the second of which was released Monday) that her old candy-cane pop image is dead. Since the bright colored wigs, the swirling peppermint bra, and the loud makeup has been so key to her image for the past five years, we have no clear idea which direction Perry will go at this new point in her career.
In addition, beginning late last week, Katy has been retweeting pictures fans have been taking of the "golden ticket on wheels" - a gold-paneled semi promoting the new album that is purported to be traveling the country until the release date.
Photo source: Billboard.com
I don't know whether the Golden Semi will be docking in the New York area, but if it does, I really want to see it.
New Album: ARTPOP
Release date: November 11
Last album & release: Born This Way (2011)
Notables: Gaga has had three #1 hits in the US: "Just Dance", "Poker Face", and "Born This Way". She has had twelve consecutive #1 hits on Billboard's Dance/Club chart.
Though Born This Way birthed the hit singles "Edge of Glory", "Judas", "Yoü and I", "Marry the Night" and the title song, the rest of the album fell flat for me. After being pumped up about the new album from the relentless advertising around the city - most specifically the S train I boarded two years ago and found myself uncomfortably staring into the blazing eyes of the Gaga Motorcycle - I was let down by the album as a whole. The five songs that were singles, however, are sufficiently Gaga: weird, progressive, sexual, and gosh-darned catchy.
I'm excited for this album for the same reason I'm excited for Katy Perry's. The line-graph of weirdness from The Fame (2008) to The Fame Monster (2009) to Born This Way (2011) has formed an Everest-like angle. After tracks like "Black Jesus" and "Government Hooker" on Gaga's last album, is there any room, or audience tolerance, for anything weirder? Will Gaga be trying a new direction with ARTPOP, or is monster-chic something that can still be capitalized on?
Time will only tell who will come out on top this fall. Whatever the outcome, I'm hoping to have two great new albums of mindless, pulsing music to love, overplay, and then get sick of.
CATHRYN SALAMONE is an actor and singer-songwriter based in New York City. She is a recent graduate of Pace University's BFA Musical Theatre program and co-vocalist of the pop duo Panhandle Poets. Current influences include professional sand castle artists and Fiona & Cake episodes of Adventure Time. www.cathrynsalamone.com
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