Katy Perry: One of the Boys

Santa Barbara native Katy Perry is capable of remaking herself for any promising target demographic. In her teens, she delivered achingly sincere contemporary Christian fare that wasn't so achingly sincere after all — though she is the daughter of two pastors — and now her One of the Boys persona of flirty, snarky tart feels equally phony. The production, by a gaggle of gimlet-eyed industry sharpies, is airless and vacuum-sealed, transforming tunes such as "Mannequin" and "Ur So Gay" into assembly-line pop-radio fodder. As for Perry's huge summer No. 1, "I Kissed a Girl," it's proof that a gal-crooned tune with that title will become a hit once a decade, whether it's strictly advisable or not. Of course, Jill Sobule was cast as a novelty after her like-named 1995 ditty scored — but if Perry suffers the same fate, she can always change styles again. Opera, anyone?

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Michael Roberts
Contact: Michael Roberts