Friday, January 30, 2015

The Top 10 Katy Perry Songs of All Time

The Super Bowl is coming up, and Katy Perry is playing the halftime show. Maybe you've heard? It'll be her biggest audience ever, and while she's no Madonna or Beyonce, she's still done a few good things in her short career.

Here is the definitive list of the ten (okay, eleven) best Katy Perry songs out there - and yes, I listened to them all to make sure. Argue if you dare.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Katy Perry Kissed A Girl - Should We Like It?

.This piece was originally published on June 4, 2008 on the once wondrous but now defunct, which was owned, as presumably this piece still is, by Regent Media, now Here Media. It is reprinted here without express permission because it's relevant and you can't find it anywhere, but if the folks at Here Media should have any objections I invite them to get in touch - I'd like to write for you again.

It's not what good girls do

This week saw the coronation of a new head-bopper hitting Number One on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart: a catchy song entitled “I Kissed a Girl,” made even more interesting because the singer is 23-year-old brunette bombshell Katy Perry.

Critical reaction to this upstart single has been decidedly mixed, as much for its social context as its musical construction. called it "a lesbian-friendly tune that's sure to cut a swath through...Pride events,” and a review of Perry's album One of the Boys, which features “I Kissed a Girl,” says the singer is “appealing as skinny-dipping in August - I guess we can't resist a tease.”

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Vertigo Shtick Top 40 Pop Singles of 2014, Part Three

The best pop singles of 2014 were a motley crew, but slowly and surely we're getting to the best of them. The second tier is a collection of ten powerhouse jams from ten powerhouse women, some new, some shedding an old skin, some returning, and some legendary. There are several great singles from not so great artists, and discussions about what that could mean for each one. One's explicitly about sex, another implicitly about masturbation, and another about sex clubs, weed, and DILF hookups, and one of the others mentions menstruation. Three times.

Sound of a Woman
Kiesza keeps on dancin'.
Read on for #20-11 of the VS Top 40 Pop Singles of 2014!

Part One: #31-40                Part Two: #21-30

Honorable Mentions


Friday, January 16, 2015

That New New: Erica Gibson's Charming Debut Single, "Out of My Mind"

It's been a good week for new music, especially considering how desolate the first few months of the year tend to be. There's a lot worth sifting through at one time, but if you're in the mood for some new new over the weekend, I recommend checking out the charming official solo debut single by Philadelphia songwriter Erica Gibson, "Out of My Mind."

Out of My Mind

Produced and co-written by frequent collaborator Scott Stallone, "Out of My Mind" is a format-savvy, sonically playful record about overthinking that voicemail from that guy, which I'm sure hasn't happened to anyone ever. There's a neat tonal shift on the pre-chorus I always find "ooh ahh"-y, and a big old chorus that, and don't hate me for this, has actually proven difficult to get out of my mind. Ooh whoa ohhhh, whoa ah ohh ohhhhh!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Anjulie's "Love Sick", Continues to Make Music That's Better Than You

Look, the streets of Los Angeles are paved with the broken dreams and unreleased music of many thousands of pop stars, also-rans, and would-be pop stars. It's just that some of these streets are nicer than others. If you're Canadian dance-pop philosopher Anjulie, it's more like Melrose Place.

Anjulie is love sick! (Haahh.) (Hooo!)
Like many artists before her, Anjulie spent the better part of the current decade working on a brilliant yet challenging pop project for her sophomore album, one that messed with both the typical label-artist career path and the genre boundaries and definitions to which label marketing teams cling fearfully, and I'm betting you can guess how that went.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Vertigo Shtick Top 40 Pop Singles of 2014, Part Two

The best pop singles of 2014 were a motley crew. The third tier is populated mostly by established or major-label acts (not as true in the lowest tier, and, you will find, remarkably untrue as we get closer to the top), some of them dialing down the star power for lower-profile work and others making big career-launching smashes often as problematic as they are massive. Throw in two standout tracks from heroic final albums from differently but undeniably pop career victors and some uniquely British pop sensitivities and you've got ten more of the best tunes of 2014.

McBusted's "Air Guitar"
 Read on for #21-30 of the VS Top 40 Pop Singles of 2014

Part One: #31-40                                    Honorable Mentions

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Vertigo Shtick Top 40 Pop Singles of 2014, Part One

The best pop singles of 2014 were a motley crew. The lowest tier at the top included intelligent songs and brilliantly stupid songs, by thrilling debuting rookies, much anticipated returning stars of old, current A-listers, and legends of past pop eras; some maximized the potential of electronic sound while others nodded back to the studio sessions of Phil Spector and his contemporaries. Some were by men, most by women, and all of them better than almost anything else out there this year.

Alexandra Stan dances with the boys
Read on for #31-40 of the VS Top 40 Pop Singles of 2014, and check out the Honorable Mentions here.

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