If you’re the sort of person who heard the news that B.o.B stepped into the studio for like 10 minutes to record just enough of a verse to qualify as remixing Katy Perry’s “The One That Got Away” and help goose the charts, this news isn’t for you, because it probably isn’t news to you. You probably know every acoustic curlicue in the song below. Now run along and replay.
For everyone else: oh look, another remix of “The One That Got Away.” We’re stunned.
There’s a case that this is yet another salvo in Katy Perry’s losing chart war against Calvin Harris, Redfoo and now Flo Rida and two moody songs about rain. The Prophet Blog floats the idea that it’s meant as a post-divorce tie-in, which is a stretch but, if true, canny and sad. We’d probably still mostly be fine with it, though. Here’s why?
1) Acoustic re-recordings are an established thing done for musical purposes and not just as new ways to juice the charts. And this is actually a re-recording, not, say, Max Martin wiping the original track, slowing it down and keyboarding up an acoustic guitar preset to accompany Katy. (Which is also an established thing; the tacked-on remix is only today’s specific version of crappy mixes. Ever heard a “pop remix”? How about an “a cappella version”?)
2) The biggest problem with “The One That Got Away” isn’t really Katy’s fault. It’s the obnoxious overproduction, its beat so relentless and wrong for the tempo that the track sounded like it needed to soundtrack step aerobics class. Acoustic remix = problem solved!
3) Katy’s voice is probably better suited to this material than to pop with more sheen. She’s done acoustic covers in concert before, and they’re always pretty good! Probably the number-one thing pop artists have said about their upcoming albums this year (“it’s got dubstep” is number two) is that they’re going acoustic. That is to say, it’s a perennial promise for pop artists in almost any year, but nevertheless: if Katy Perry wanted to take a break from slingshotting Teenage Dream singles onto the charts, she’s got an excellent alternative.