Hello, and welcome to Radio Rants. Guess who’s back today?
More. Katy. Perry. Apparently, she’s the singer America can’t get enough of. And she just made history last month by staying in the Top 10 for a year. Now, to be fair, she’s at least kinda kept the quality up. Out of her four singles thus far, I’ve only really hated one (“Firework”), I genuinely liked “E.T.”, and even though they weren’t my favorite songs, “California Gurls” and “Teenage Dream” were tolerable (besides the overplay).
Which is more than I can say for “Last Friday Night”.
Given that “Peacock” exists, “Last Friday Night” can’t be Katy Perry’s worst song, but it’s not far behind. I’m filled with such dread at hearing those opening strums of overproduced electric guitar that it might as well be The Imperial March.
“Last Friday Night”‘s pop rock (ish) musical set-up and post-party lyrics call to mind Perry’s previous hit, “Waking Up in Vegas” (my favorite song of hers), but with a major difference: “Vegas” honestly sounded fun while “Last Friday Night” sounds like a committee’s idea of fun.
And it’s a poorly written idea of fun at that. “Last Friday Night” skims over one night stands, blackouts, glitter, and streaking in just the fashion that tells me it’s all complete bullshit. Doesn’t this sound like someone lying about their weekend using Texts From Last Night to anyone else? “Seriously, there were flamingos everywhere, and we got drunk, and everyone hooked up, and just wait until the pictures go up on Facebook!” PS, Katy, it’s not a “Blacked out blur” if you can write a whole song about what happened. And it’s not like I have something against party songs, it’s just that these lyrics are terrible. They’re the most banal ways of describing a party (“There’s a stranger in my bed/There’s a pounding in my head”) at best, and at worst…here’s the second verse.
“Trying to connect the dots
Don’t know what to tell my boss
Think the city towed my car
Chandelier is on the floor”
Halfway in, and we have one of the worst rhyme abandonments I’ve ever heard. There were four writers on this song, and none of them could come up something to rhyme with “car”? And barring that, they couldn’t have just ditched the car line and tried again? But hell, what happens next makes me wish they didn’t keep the rhyme going.
“Ripped my favorite party dress
Warrant’s out for my arrest
Think I need a ginger ale
That was such an epic fail“
Congratulations, Katy Perry. You took one of the dumbest web-culture catchphrases and turned it into a truly cringe worthy lyric. I’ve heard bad lyrics before, but “Last Friday Night”‘s second verse is a lyrical blackhole.
In terms of sound, “Last Friday Night” is pretty New Wave inspired with a few extra synths over the chorus. The overwhelming majority of the music comes from a fairly standard dance/pop rock beat, a repetitive 4-chord guitar strum, and occasional bass pops. The only variety comes on the chorus, where the same siren-y synth from “Tik Tok”‘s chorus comes in. The sax solo on the bridge is, I assume, meant to liven things up, but it’s basically the audio equivalent of a Big Mac: supposed to resemble something real, but way too processed to fool anybody into thinking it’s alive. “Last Friday Night” also scrapes the bottom of the barrel melodically; there’s barely a melody to speak of, and the bridge is nothing but eerily robotic chant of “T. G. I. F.”.
In fact, lifelessness might be what pushes “Last Friday Night” from shallow to horrible. Look at “Take It Off” by Ke$ha. I hate that song, I really do. But I do have to admit, Ke$ha sounds excited about the party going on, and makes it sound like fun. Meanwhile, Katy Perry is way too bored for the subject matter, and comes off conceited and kind of bitchy for it.
In the year that I’ve been doing Radio Rants, “Last Friday Night” may not be the worst song I’ve reviewed, but it easily makes the top 5. There’s nothing to like about this song; the lyrics describe partying in a borderline impossible way, it’s repetitive as hell, and it’s not catchy. If Ke$ha songs are the self-aware-don’t-care trainwrecks of pop music, “Last Friday Night” is the unlikable party girl that everyone wishes they could forget about the next morning.
“Next Friday night, do it all again”? How about never again, Katy.