pictures courtesy of IMDb
Picture this: I’m sitting on my couch watching “Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie” unfold on the TV screen. “Magic” by Selena Gomez starts playing as the end credits roll. I couldn’t be happier.
Ten years later I felt the same way when Selena Gomez, Kesha and Katy Perry all released music in the same week. 2019 is starting to feel like 2009 — and I’m here for it.
The first single that made its way into my Apple Music library was “Harleys in Hawaii” by Katy Perry. The meaty guitar sequence at the beginning of the song shows Perry has definitely matured from her cotton-candy-ridden early singles. It slowly builds into a soft and beachy tune that quite literally takes you to the shores of Hawaii. Two minutes into the song, the sample of a motorcycle engine perfectly completes the visualization that the track provides.
Although “Harleys in Hawaii” doesn’t quite take me back to the vibrant dreamscapes that find themselves in “California Girls” and “Teenage Dream,” a classic Katy Perry bop will always call for a dance party in my bedroom.
I also found myself dancing in my bedroom to the first of two surprise single releases from Selena Gomez, titled “Look At Her Now.” The title references her comeback after what seemed to be an eternity of an on-again-off-again relationship with Justin Bieber and brief fling with The Weeknd. Distorted vocal samples and a quick, electronica beat dance themselves into my ears and all the way down to my feet — it’s impossible to stay still when listening to the track. The song gave me “Love You Like a Love Song” vibes, but with an adult touch.
The second of the two singles, “Lose You to Love Me,” is definitely not a dance track. The slow piano introduction almost hands you the tissue box you’re going to need. Along with “Look At Her Now,” this track paints the more painful picture that played in Gomez’s mind when experiencing her tumultuous past with Bieber. One line says it all: “In two months you replaced us, like it was easy.” That line was all I needed to cry over rocky relationships of the past I didn’t even have.
The last of this week’s nostalgic-but-new lineup was “Raising Hell” by Kesha. Before I even queued the track, I noticed it featured Big Freedia, an artist that has sampled and opened for Beyoncé. I mean, I’ve sang along to Big Freedia’s iconic pre-recorded introduction to Beyoncé’s “Formation” four times in concert — I knew I had to like this song.
Sadly, I didn’t.
Of course I wanted to like it — it’s the beginning of Kesha’s new fun and edgy era. I expected the gritty beats of “Cannibal” or the overly-catchy melody of “Die Young.” But I was left wanting more. It seemed like the repetitive lyrics and basic key progressions were made specifically for radio play, almost as if she wrote it with the sole intention of topping the Billboard Hot 100. Although I wasn’t a fan of “Raising Hell,” I am staying hopeful that the rest of Kesha’s new record, “High Road,” will reintroduce me to the Kesha I know and love.
The females of the late 2000s are here and they’re ready to play. Their hiatuses are over, their undulating pasts are making their way into their music and their new projects are ready to put you in a time machine right back to 2009 again. Get ready, your 8-year-old self is about to be shook.