Katy Perry's 'California Gurls': The first mega-smash of the summer?

Katy_PerrySPF your boomboxes and polish up your Ray-Ban game, kiddos—’tis the season of the summer jam.

Every year, a clutch of eager contenders run the gauntlet, but only a lucky handful make it all the way to beach blanket babylon; in 2009, those honors went to the likes of Kid Cudi, Phoenix, and Keri Hilson.

Today, Santa Barbara native Perry makes a naked grab for this year’s seasonal-champ ring, strapping on her rollerskates for a Jeep-bumping neon-pop ode to the popsicle-maiming bikini vixens of the Golden State, “California Gurls.”

Stream the song—it’s the first, Snoop Dogg-assisted single off her upcoming still-untitled album—here at her official website and tell us: Top of the pops by June, or out with the old Memorial Day BBQ coal? Who else will own this summer’s airwaves?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Muse announced as first artists on upcoming ‘Twilight: Eclipse’ soundtrack; more to come
Bret Michaels releases emotional new song, ‘Wasted Time’
Taylor Swift says her third album will be about ‘boys and love’
Kris Allen on the controversy over his new single, “The Truth,” and those added Pat Monahan vocals
Kelly Clarkson: Is her new leak dissing Ryan Tedder?
New Miley Cyrus ‘Can’t Be Tamed’: Death to Hannah Montana
Beyoncé’s one hot housewife in ‘Why Don’t You Love Me’ video: Watch here


Comments (126 total) Add your comment
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  • Amanda

    Meh. It was okay, nothing special.

    • crispy

      She needed to dissappear the day after her first single hit the radio. She is a cheap knockoff of Lady Gaga and yes I agree she is even worse than Ke$ha. And who will have the summer anthem this year? Easy as cake.. Justin B. duh! ;)

      • melknowl

        LMAO she hit with Kissed A Girl before most of us knew who Gaga was.

      • BW

        I’m pretty sure she was out before Lady Gaga was, so its hard to call her a knockoff of Lady Gaga.

      • arrow

        Im pretty sure Katy Perry actually came out before Lady Gaga….Ke$ha is a similar sound but neither are really like Gaga

      • janna

        huh? pretty sure the awesome katy perry had a hit before anyone even heard of gaga so knock off i think not! and justin b having the hit? uh NO!

      • Olivia

        Ke$ha is horrible… Katy Perry is so much better than her. @arrow and @janna are right about Katy coming out before Gaga.

      • ernie

        Katy Perry actually has a really good voice. Arguably better than Gaga’s and definitely better than Ke$ha’s. Can’t hear it here though…

      • nat

        Yeah, she had a hit with “I kissed a girl” in early summer 08, Gaga didn’t hit till october-ish? Plus she’s nothing like Gaga musically.

        This songs a bit blah though….not bad, just not infectious like a summer song usually is.

      • raven

        Katy Perry and Gaga actually came out around the same time, “Just Dance” just wasn’t huge until later. However Katy sure isn’t copying her and they don’t sound that much alike.

      • Preston

        Katy Perry’s a lot different from Lady Gaga. They each have their own provocative over the top images and looks. I didn’t get her 2008 album(heard the singles from it on the radio) but I plan to get this new one. Sounds like she’s going for a dance pop direction with her single and album, just like the song she did with Timbaland. Lady Gaga’s album came out a few months after her, but no one was zoned into her dance pop yet until 3 to 4 months after that.

      • Connor

        How can you judge one generic popstar (Katy Perry) when you seemingly worship an even worse one (Justin Bieber)?

      • Jes

        She’s great. Justin Beiber? No.

      • Matt

        How is Katy a cheap knockoff of Lady GaGa when she was around a lot longer than GaGa??

        Oh, and I love this song. The first time I heard it, I was like “it’s just whatever,” bu then I had it stuck in head for an hour, so I listened to it again. Now it has become my current favorite song! My new obsession!

      • nk96

        oh stop, she isnt bad!! she has a good album, n no one isnt as good as lady gaga!
        its not the worst song, but i think eenie meenie(justin bieber) will be the summer song:))

      • Stephanie

        A. How in the world is she a knockoff of GaGa? I’m a fan of GaGa, but for the last time, not EVERY female pop artist rips off GaGa!
        B. Worse than Ke$ha? Sorry, I don’t think that’s humanly possible.

      • kelsey

        seriously? katy perry came out wayyyyy before lady gaga and had several huge hits before anyone even heard of Ke$ha. i’m pretty sure lady gaga is the one copying katy.

      • Heidi

        uh first off, Katy Perry came out before Lady Gaga. Second, Katy Perry can actually sing and she has a really good voice and a great performer. Ive seen her live. Ke$ha probably most def slept her way to the top because she cant sing. Although her songs are pretty funny. And Gaga is a good performer as well. I mean they are all skanky, but who isn’t these days?

      • Heidi

        oh and Justin B is a little creep.

    • darclyte

      As much as I have never cared much for “pop music” in general, autotune just makes it even worse. Oy.

      • S.O.

        as seen in the “SlapChop” infomercial. but LMAO!!!

      • LOL

        Nothing special at all. Not even really catchy.

    • MultiPass

      Sounds like Tik Tok remixed by Daft Punk. I liked Katy Perry’s Max Martin singles – lots attitude, she can sing the balls off a hook. I think this song will do well, it is very summery. But it’s a cheap throwaway, junk food ditty. And someone kill the Autotune, wayyyyy to much. Meh. Sorry Katy.

      • Ren

        She cannot sing without a lot of help in the studio aka Auto-Tune. Zero talent.

    • jay

      The funny thing is she used to be a christian singer, singing about Jesus and God, that didn’t work, so she turned into katty perry, slut mode!

      • Jes

        I would rather be in the “secular music” than the Christian music. And it’s said that her parents said she couldn’t do music unless it was Christian. So when she turned 18 she made up her own mind.

    • mary q contrary

      I’m not one for songs like this, so I can’t really use my opinion as an indicator, but it’ll be a hit. Perennial song of the summer. There might be bigger hits, but this one will still be playing in August.

  • confidential

    Its hard to like Katy Perry.. she is just the dumbest pop star. I guess Keisha comes a nearby second.

    • confidential

      Speaking of Kesha.. Doesn’t this song sound a lot like “you love is my drug”?

      They’re both decent vocalists but have the dumbest songs ever.. I don’t get it. The 90’s were filed with non singing hugely famous girls wereas the 00’s are filed with really good singers with nothing to say.

      • Ron

        I don’t consider Kesha a decent vocalist. And as far as the 90s go what non singing famous girls are you talking about? Most of the 90s singers were people like Alanis, sheryl crow, Jewel and R&B pop singers like Mariah/ Whitney/ Celine/ Brandy/ Monica etc.

      • Rory

        Decent vocalists?

    • Emma

      She sounds okay in her interviews. No genius, to be sure. But not as bad as most either. Keisha definitely has a learning disability.

    • kate

      Kesha actually manages to be a cheap Katy Perry knock-off. And they sound similar, especially on this song. Will radio like them both? They’ve flooded the market and I’m nearly over the stupid/trashy/electro-pop female artist.

    • Hugh

      You’ve obviously never seen her neck down.

  • Nate

    Meh. I don’t see this one becoming THE summer song.

    • Sarah


      • n


  • leka

    Your Keri Hilson link goes to a Katy Perry song.

  • KY In the SKY

    WOAH. Listen people, Katy Perry was number 1 before GaGa was even heard of. Ke$ha too. Katy perry is better than you guys are making her out to be. This song doesnt sound exactly like Ke$ha and GaGa. It has a funk pop sensibility to it that GaGa and Ke$ha most certainly do not have.

    • Veda

      All I hear is a computer generated voice – which is really depressing. Sorry, what happened to the days when singers would actually sing? Even Mary J.’s latest has been auto-tuned to within a cat’s whisker of it’s life. Sad.

      • Preston

        There are people who like these kinds of Autotune songs, myself included–it’s what makes these songs addictive and fun namely the danceable numbers. But I don’t want singers to rely on them too much, only one time–THEN we want to hear you actually SING on your other songs without the computer generated technology and slick sound effects!

  • Lynny

    It is fine, but not breathtaking. The bassline sounds so much like an 80’s sample, but I can’t place it.

    • Beaner

      I think it might sound a little like Kool and the Gang’s – Celebration?

      I HEAR you, she is using the base line from another song, an 80’s song!

      • PetSounds

        someone told me it samples a song called California by an italian group from the 80s. I’m unable to track this song down though! Help!

    • Sid

      I am almost certain that the bassline is an edited sample of the bassline from Calvin Harris’s song “I’m Not Alone”. If you look up the song, the sample appears at about 45 seconds into the song.

  • BW

    I’m predicting this song will be huge. Its a fun song that is easy to see blasting out of car windows while people drive around. Its can be easily played on the beach or in a club, and really, thats what it takes to be a summer smash

  • Ellipsian

    I called it yesterday on Slezak’s Facebook page: the official song of the summer song will be Adam Lambert’s newly-annouced next single, “If I Had You”. It’s fun, sexy, got a hot beat, and is catchy as hell. Fab!

    • Ellipsian

      *announced, even…

    • Rory

      But can you dance to it?

      • wahu

        I hear If I Had You on Aol Radio a lot at work and I dance to it fine…I also blast it loud when driving…the song is so catchy and a perfect piece of pop heaven…for real..the song even has some Duran Duran influence in it…great stuff

  • Louigi

    I dig it!

  • True Blue

    Did she borrow the beat from Tik-Tok? I ask this as a serious question, did she? Because it sounds EXACTLY like Tik Tok.

    • Miss Talk

      The same dude wrote both songs(Note to Kelly Clarkson: Ryan Tedder is not the only one).
      This song is meh. Can’t believe Snoop actually loaned her the expression “sipping on gin and juice”! That’s a crime, Dogg. Katy ain’t gonna bring you no Grammy, Snoop. Keys and Bey’s “Put it in a love song” will be the hit song of this summer.

      • justink

        Put in a love song is already peaked and starting to fall.
        it won’t be the summer song
        maybe in your ipod
        but you have bad taste

      • Rae

        Didn’t Put It In A Love Song already peak at something like number 45?

  • kate

    I think this song is the least catchy of all of Katy Perry’s singles. I kept waiting for the hook (took forever to get there) and then it barely existed. I actually had to force myself to sit through the entire thing. I can’t see it being a radio smash.

    • johnny

      I like some of her stuff but not this. Dreadful like a lot of stuff out nowdays.

  • Jessica

    Hey, her cat’s name is Kitty Purry. Pretty clever, and enough to make me like her. As for this song, pretty vapid and the vocals are too monotone for the beat.

  • Anna Morrison

    Come on: It’s really really bad.

    • gen

      Yep. Absolutely true.

    • anon

      You are really, really right1 Ugh, this is a stinker of a song and if it wasn’t Katy Perry/a known singer, this song would certainly never be heard.

  • Anth

    I actually really liked her first CD and was looking forward to the new one, but I’m hoping this isn’t an indication of how the rest of the album sounds, because this was terrible.

  • WTF

    What an original title.

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