Battle of the Pop Girls: Round 3 – The Second Single
Next up in the Battle of the Pop Girls, the second single, or Battle of the Ballads.
Lady Gaga – Do What U Want
I think this is probably the most perfect single choice from the ARTPOP album. I really think it’s one of the best songs on the album. I love the 80’s feel in the synth at the beginning and the overall R&B influence in it that moves Gaga forward in a better direction musically. Her voice has that jazzy husky feel that I really like in some of her best songs. I even really like the surprise of R. Kelly’s guest verse. That’s a collaboration I never saw coming, so kudos to surprising me. On top of it all, it has that double metaphor of sex and a big eff you to the media about her weight gain.
Britney Spears – Perfume
When I first heard the title of this song, I rolled my eyes because I knew that it was a desperate attempt to sell her perfume line and that’s all it was going to be. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was a bit more to it than that at least. I like the piano and melody — it gives me nostalgic Every Time feels. The problem is that I’m just not into Britney for her ballads — they’re her weakest in my opinion. She’s just not a great singer. However, of all the Britney ballads, Perfume may be one of my favorites. I like that Britney’s voice feels a little more raw, I like the heartbreaking lyrics (coupled with the backstory to it), and I just like that it feels a bit of a different direction for her. With every album since Blackout, each released single has been an uptempo party jam (except for Criminal, which was terrible.) So I like that she’s released something a little softer and toned down. It was a risk, and according to the charts, it unfortunately didn’t pay off. I like the Dreaming mix a bit better too.
MIley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball
I’ve liked this song from the start, though it does get old. Now, it’s definitely hard to separate the song from the video, so I’ll have to deal with that in a different post. It was with this song that I felt like Miley had progressed vocally since her last album. There’s little to no twang and she hits those high notes in the chorus like a pro. I love that chorus, even if now it’s been mocked to death. I actually wish that it was even more over-the-top, more like a big power ballad from the 80’s or something. Unfortunately, I don’t think Miley would have the voice to pull off such a huge number like that.
Katy Perry – Unconditionally
Another song that I really liked from the beginning. It’s a little like Wrecking Ball, where I feel it could have been even stronger with a better vocalist. Katy’s voice sounds great in the song, though I cringe to hear what it sounds like live. It isn’t a very complex song lyrically, but that’s never been Katy’s thing. She sticks to simple themes, but at least it’s a catchy tune. I love the “open up your heart and just let it begin” bridge in the middle and wish they would have incorporated it into the last choruses. At the very least, Katy pushes herself vocally and it’s a decent song.
All of the second singles from these ladies were on par. They wasn’t any song that didn’t really click, as opposed to the lead single round. I would have to give the round to Lady Gaga’s “Do What U Want.” I like the retro feel that’s on trend with the charts, her vocals and the fact that the lyrics of the song work on multiple levels.
1. Lady Gaga – Do What U Want
2. Katy Perry – Unconditionally
3. Britney Spears – Perfume
4. Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball