Jesse Slade ’19 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Katy Perry and Britney Spears both dropped new singles on Friday, July 15, and both took very different approaches to their pop comebacks. Perry hasn’t released a song since her album Prism was released in 2013; Spears released a song last year with Iggy Azalea, but hasn’t released a solo single since her 2013 flop, Britney Jean. Perry has remained under the radar since her Prismatic World Tour ended, whereas Spears has been performing her Vegas residency weekly. So both pop stars haven’t released solo music in three years—whose single was worth the wait? Let’s compare a few things.
First, the artwork.
Spears wins for cover art. At first glance, Perry’s picture may offer more, but the “Make Me” artwork looks like a professional created it, whereas Perry’s looks like she had a good time with her best friend on photoshop. Perry uses cool colors, but they went for the eye-matching technique. The water matches the blue of her eyes so the font matches the white, but the font doesn’t match the image.
Now, for the music.
Perry comes back swinging with “Rise,” whereas Spears takes a mellow approach to her comeback with “Make Me” (featuring G-Eazy), however, Perry swings and almost hits it but not quite. “Rise,” which is more or less “Roar Part Two with Less of a Catch,” is not a song one would care to dance to or sing in the car. With the help of Max Martin (who works with artists such as Taylor Swift and Katy Perry regularly), Perry attempts to create an anthem of strength. It’s perfect for an ad for the Rio Olympics, which is what it was used for, but it offers nothing fans haven’t already heard from Perry. It’s an ominous, triumphant vocal with very little else to offer. “Make Me,” on the other hand, is one of Spears’ best songs to date; it’s a standout. It’s a totally new sound for her in that there’s no major dance beat; it’s sexy without trying too hard. While Perry brings a stronger vocal performance and a song with more meaning, Spears has the better overall song.
This summer, the radio has been flooded with songs that have minimal choruses lyrically; the verses say it all and the beats speaks for themselves. Songs like “Don’t Let Me Down“ by the Chainsmokers, “This is What you Came For” by Calvin Harris, and “Needed Me” by Rihanna don’t have choruses for singing along. This is what Spears does successfully in “Make Me;” it’s a relatively simple song that isn’t in your face in the way that “Rise” is, but that’s a good thing. G-Easy fits into the song well; his verse is understated and compliments Spears’ soft vocals. This is a step forward for Spears, and isn’t a step at all for Perry.