If I didn’t make it clear, I’m not really into the young image that Katy Perry is selling. The high-pitched kiddie voice and sexually suggestive candy theme highlights both the infantilization of women and sexualization of girls. However, as an entertainer, Katy Perry does try to cover all bases, and the one time it did hit for me was the more mature noir jazz moments recalling the film Chinatown and music group Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble.
The shirtless dude that followed, not as classy.
A few people I have talked to consider Robyn an odd choice of opening act for Katy Perry, since they consider Robyn more “authetic” than Katy. However, I don’t think the word authentic describes Robyn at all. It’s true Robyn is a bit older than most pop artists, a few of her lyrics out of Body Talk suggest real experiences instead of constructed fantasies, and her uncoordinated, energetic dance style evokes a bedroom dance-off.
Yet, she was and still is signed to a major record label and has access to the same resources as other pop stars. I think most people that call Robyn “authentic” want to ease the embarrassment of liking a pop star. I happen to like Robyn for her style. She’s taken electroclash and futurepop sounds that I like and owned them without the nonchalance or irony that other artists — whether they are indie or global pop stars– have afforded the soundscape.
An interesting story about Robyn, this past February, an interviewer for a social media job I applied for checked my music-related resume and said she was going to the show Robyn was headlining that week. The woman’s age range paralleled Robyn’s. This suggested to me that this factor, an entertainer aging gracefully, appealed to this woman.
Robyn may not be authentic. Nonetheless, like Perry, she covers her bases as an entertainer, and manages to attract fans outside usual pop music demographics.