The Power Of The Particular

Katy Perry’s ‘Wide Awake’.

Betraying his habitual endorsement of somewhat limited ideas concerning the pre-eminence of biography and lyrics in the interpretation of music, Bob Lefsetz believes that in the context of her recent divorce, Katy Perry’s new single, ‘Wide Awake’, offers listeners a powerful experience of diaristic, confessional specificity comparable to that enjoyed by other pop audiences, such as the Springsteen fans written about by David Brooks in his short essay ‘The Power of the Particular’. Lefsetz:

We’re unattached to so many celebrities. As soon as the buzz moves on, we’re going to forget them. Because there’s no story. That’s what the Kardashians have done so well, create an entire world, however phony. We’re intrigued by the story. Brooks posits if you want to succeed you should stop being everyman and just be yourself. Romney should can the jeans and stop talking about loving to hunt. Hell, despite the right wing hysteria, whenever Obama cites Jay-Z or references another hip-hop artist it actually benefits him, it humanizes him, he’s a human being with tastes.


Published on 5 July 2012

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