The Bottom Line
The song "E.T." has three hard acts to follow. Katy Perry is coming off a string of three consecutive #1 pop hit singles. "E.T." is unlikely to follow those clear to the top of the charts, but that doesn't mean it is a bad song. It is a solid addition to her repertoire of singles and has already crashed the pop top 10. The catchy chorus and drama in the lyrics will please most of Katy Perry's fans.
- Tense pulsing beat
- Metaphorical lyrics with a more adult feel
- Kanye West's alternative point of view
- Lack of a solid pop hook
- Edginess without a payoff
- Written by Katy Perry, Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, and Joshua Coleman
- Produced by Dr. Luke, Ammo, and Max Martin
- Released February 2011 by Capitol Records
Guide Review - Katy Perry - "E.T." featuring Kanye West
It is always a hard act following up major hit singles. In Katy Perry's case it is three consecutive smash #1 hits. Fortunately, she does head in a somewhat different direction instead of trying to repeat a previous success. Katy Perry has said the song is about making love to a foreigner. The metaphor of sex with an extra terrestrial is potent lyrically. Added verses by Kanye West add an interesting perspective turning the song into a tense duet about an intense sexual encounter.
Where "E.T." fails in comparison to its predecessors is there is not a surefire hook to hang on to with the song. It pulses along, but the overall effect is a tension soaked wordiness. The edginess builds without release. This structure could be very potent with more overall power to the song. Unfortunately here the song has the effect of being an interesting exploration, but in the final analysis, it is not one that I would be likely to put on repeat.
In response to critics that feel Katy Perry's big hits are pure fluff and therefore not a serious musical effort, "E.T." is a strong effort at showing some versatility. This song is not simple bubblegum. It is a more adult sound for both Perry and producers Dr. Luke and Max Martin. The result has already been another top 10 pop hit for Katy Perry, but I am waiting for another surefire effervescent #1.