This summer, pop music flowed like Pellegrino: Robin Thicke, Justin Timberlake, and Daft Punk immersed us in retro-R&B grooves that were effervescent, sophisticated—and only a tad more adventurous than tap water.
Come fall, though, America’s divas will step in with higher-proof stuff. Katy Perry and Lady Gaga have already poured the first two shots: After announcing release dates for their respective albums, Prism and ARTPOP, the two unleashed massive first singles within the same 24 hours. Both women vow that they’ve reinvented themselves—Perry’s determined to stay dominant following a record-breaking string of No. 1s, and Gaga is fighting back from a major case of over-the-top-itis. (So far, this mostly seems to mean they’re both wearing fewer wigs.) First, Perry delivered “Roar,” an earnest empowerment anthem with an organic feel and some well-placed winks. Then Gaga rushed out “Applause,” a relatively streamlined, club-ready rumination on fame. READ FULL STORY