Katy Perry live-streamed herself for four days straight to promote her new album, and it was a boring, uncomfortable mess.
As I wrote back in February, Perry’s first single “Chained to the Rythm” from her fifth album “Witness” sounds objectively bad, as does every other song on her album. I’m not the only one who holds this opinion—you can read mean reviews of her album here, including my favorite line from The Herald Sun: “She’s tried to make her own Lemonade, but it’s closer to flat home-brand cola.”
Everything Perry has done to promote her dud of an album — including her recent wokeness — seems like desperate attention-grabbing from a woman undergoing an apparent identity crisis.
Last Thursday, Perry moved into a Los Angeles apartment with 41 cameras throughout the inside of the home, documenting her every move — except for bathroom breaks. Fans could witness (ha, get it?) Perry sleep, eat, cry, laugh, meditate, and talk for four days via a livestream broadcast on her YouTube channel.
As I write this, I’m watching the final day of her 96-hour long video, which she will conclude with a concert for her fans. Perry is wiping her makeup off with a wipe post-workout as she takes questions from the 5,887 people watching her.
Throughout the livestream event, Perry hosted a number of “socially conscious” segments, “including an electrifying slam-poetry recitation by Zariya Allen and an interview with DeRay McKesson, during which Perry expressed regrets about the racial insensitivity of some of her previous performances,” The Atlantic‘s Spencer Kornhaber writes.
She also hosted a politically charged 10-person dinner party where Caitlyn Jenner was the lone Donald Trump supporter. But these social justice warrior tendencies as exhibited in her livestream probably won’t surprise anyone who caught her performance at the Grammy Awards. She attempted to stoke some anti-Trump fervor by wearing a white pantsuit and a “persist” armband while projecting text of The Constitution behind her and Skip Marley as they sang onstage.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a favorable take on her live stream. The Washington Post’s Elahe Izadi wrote a piece titled “All the things we learned (and wish we didn’t learn) from Katy Perry’s weekend-long live stream.” CNN’s Hunter Schwarz had this to say in Monday’s edition of CoverLine, the e-mail newsletter he co-authors with Kate Bennet.
I’ve previously called Katy the Hillary Clinton of pop, and this seemed like a continuation of that, hyper-focused on Clinton’s campaign message of ‘stronger together’ and ‘love and kindness.’
[. . .]
Even as Katy copies her political icon, Hillary Clinton, Clinton herself has moved on. ‘Stronger Together’ didn’t win an election, and Clinton these days is often throwing punches and willing to pick fights. Katy seems stuck in 2016, promoting an album with love and kindness even as critics pan the record and her pop rival plays petty, dropping her entire discography on streaming services to steal the spotlight.
Schwarz is of course referring to the actions of Perry’s longtime rival, Taylor Swift, who released every single one of her songs on Spotify to upstage the livestream and disrupt the “Teenage Dream” singer’s album sales. In an interview with The Huffington’s Global Thrive Podcast during the livestream, Perry said she was ready to bury the hatchet.
“I love her, and I want the best for her,” she said. “And I think she’s a fantastic songwriter, and I think that, you know, if we, both her and I, can be representatives of strong women that come together despite their differences, I think the whole world is going to go like, ‘Yeah, well we can do this.’”
It’s this type of remark — an olive branch extended to a rival who’s actively working to undermine her — that exemplifies how Perry’s new efforts to be both woke and sweet are out-of-touch and really downright grating. “Watching Katy Perry Struggle For Relevance This Year Has Been Painful,” Stereogum’s Chris DeVille wrote.
Katy Perry opens her new album by singing, ‘Can I get a witness?’ Her promotional tactics for Witness have communicated a similar sentiment, albeit more intense: ‘Please look at me!’ This is the singer known for spraying whipped cream from her cupcake bra, so it’s not like she’s ever been a master of understatement. But in the absence of the monumental jams we’ve come to expect from her, all her overzealous attention-seeking and foot-in-mouth blunders look more like desperation.
Her newfound woke-ness isn’t fooling anyone, nor is it doing the singer any favors for her new album — her second single “Bon Apétite” topped out at #59 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.
During an awkward therapy session the singer livestreamed, Perry broke down into tears within minutes, explaining that she cut her hair because she is so sick and tired of being Katy Perry that she doesn’t even want to look like her anymore. She instead wants to be Kathryn Hudson (her given name) once again.
“I so badly want to be Kathryn Hudson that I don’t even want to look like Katy Perry anymore sometimes,” she said. “That is a little bit of why I cut my hair is because I really want to be my authentic self, like a hundred percent.”
Even Katy Perry is sick of whatever-the-h-ll act Katy Perry has been pulling lately.