“California Gurls”

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Adam R. Holz

Album Review

It’s pretty cheeky to appropriate the title of what’s arguably the most famous California song of all time … and then “make it your own” as they’d say on American Idol. But then, Katy Perry has never lacked cheek. (Which, come to think of it, is about all we were able to show of her track’s cover art.)

The latest slickly marketed, made-for-summer jam from the singer best known for “I Kissed a Girl” borrows its (intentionally misspelled) title from The Beach Boys’ 1965 hit. Like that song, Katy’s pays homage to the superficial, sensual charms of the Golden State’s most beautiful girls. Unlike Brian Wilson’s version, which stops at “just” ogling ladies in “French bikinis,” Katy’s details what happens after said swimwear is summarily shed.

“California girls/We’re unforgettable,” Katy teases. “Daisy dukes/Bikinis on top/Sippin’ gin and juice/Laying underneath the palm trees/The boys break their necks/Tryin’ to creep a little peek.” What they glimpse, she sings suggestively, “Will melt your popsicle.”

After that naughty double entendre, Perry quickly dispenses with the coy wordplay: “Sex on a beach/We get sand in our stilettos/We freak/In a Jeep/Snoop Doggy Doggy on the stereo.”

Speaking of Snoop, he answers the call, showing up on this track to add his own predictable take on California’s tanned “resources.” “These are the girls I love the most,” he raps. “I mean, like, she’s the one/Kiss her/Touch her/Squeeze her buns.”

To hear Katy and Snoop tell it, the highest calling for a California girl is being ogled and groped. Sex on the sand or in Jeep? Just another day at the beach for “California Gurls.”

Consequences? Reality? No need to worry about those silly things as long as the sun’s out. So says Katy Perry.

Adam R. Holz

After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.

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