×

Review: Katy Perry’s New Single ‘Bon Appetit’ Serves Up Female Sexuality as a Four-Course Meal

Katy Perry is no stranger to the extended, over-the-top sexual metaphor (see: “Peacock”) or even sex-as-food similes (the molten popsicles of “California Gurls,” the whipped cream-shooting bras of her touring act). So when, on her new single, a line appears about being “spread like a buffet,” we know she is re-fixated on the prime Perry preoccupations, not slumming to do a chuck wagon commercial. But she’s never doubled down on double entendres quite to the degree she does in “Bon Appetit,” a gleefully ridiculous exercise in chewing the comedic scenery by presenting female sexuality as a four-course-plus meal. You may not know whether to giggle or gag at Perry’s barrage of carnal/culinary one-liners; the song should come with its own Heimlich maneuver, just in case.

It’s a fine line between audaciously hilarious and risible. “You could use some sugar / ‘Cause your levels ain’t right,” she sings, becoming the first performer in recent memory to invoke the semiotics of diabetes in the service of a seduction. “I’m a five-star Michelin / A Kobe flown in… Eat with your hands, fine…” You might be thinking she’s too inventive to go for the most obvious food/sex references, but “Bon Appetit” finally has no such pride, so rest assured that by song’s end, there will be cherry pie.

After a lot of career-establishing singles that had Perry working with the superstar team of Dr. Luke and Max Martin, Luke is absent here, and so is the rock-ish edge underlying some of her greatest hits. With Martin being joined at the track’s helm by Shellback and Oscar Holter, she moves further into a pure EDM-pop realm here, aiming at a dance floor that may not quite be sure whether to bust a move or a gut. Given the formidable team involved, you might wonder why there isn’t a musical hook here as strong as the ones they’re all famous for. But they’re probably saving those for follow-up tracks that don’t have to leave room for raps by the Atlanta trio Migos (fellow artists on the Capitol Music Group roster), or that are designed to have a shelf life longer than one of the erotic baked goods turned out by the Voodoo Doughnut chain.

Perry is presumably saving the real beef for a follow-up single from her upcoming fourth album, which will probably be more “Roar” or “Firework” and less bubble-smut. But for now, we’ve got lines like “whipped cream, no dairy,” which should go down in the pop history books as the 2017-iest of all possible entendres.

[Editor’s note: a previous version of this review misidentified the song “Peacock.”]

Review: Katy Perry's New Single 'Bon Appetit' Serves Up Female Sexuality as a Four-Course Meal

More Music

  • Kanye Kim Kardashian Selling Bel Air

    Kanye West, Kim Kardashian Lobbied Trump for A$AP Rocky's Release, Source Confirms

    Kanye West and Kim Kardashian lobbied President Trump to help release A$AP Rocky from jail in Sweden, a source close to the situation confirms to Variety. The news was first reported by TMZ. A$AP Rocky (real name: Rakim Myers) has been behind bars in the country since July 2 after being involved in an altercation [...]

  • Woodstock 50 Applies for Vernon Downs

    Woodstock 50 Applies for Vernon Downs Permit Yet Again

    For better or worse, Woodstock 50 isn’t giving up on Vernon Downs, despite being rejected twice already: The producers have applied for another permit to hold the festival at Vernon Downs, according to the Utica Observer Dispatch. Town Attorney Vincent Rossi confirmed the application was submitted Wednesday. This is the festival’s third application; previous applications [...]

  • Randy Travis Selling Nashville Condo

    Randy Travis Says 'Amen' to Condo in Nashville

    Multiplatinum-selling country music mandarin Randy Travis, who rarely performs publicly after a 2013 illness and stroke, has sold a house-sized condominium in the upscale Belle Meade area of ​​Nashville for $545,000, just shy of its $550,000 asking price. The seven-time Grammy winner and 2016 inductee to the Country Music Hall of Fame acquired the top-floor [...]

  • Bert and Ernie

    Sally Field, Linda Ronstadt and 'Sesame Street' Among 2019 Kennedy Center Honorees

    Sally Field, Linda Ronstadt, “Sesame Street,” conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and R&B veterans Earth, Wind and Fire have been selected as the 2019 Kennedy Center Honorees. The kudos will be handed out Dec. 8 at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, D.C. The award to “Sesame Street” marks the first time the prestigious laurel [...]

  • AWAL Names Bianca Bhagat as Senior

    AWAL Names Bianca Bhagat as Senior VP, Synch & Brand Partnerships

    AWAL, Kobalt’s recorded music company, announced the hiring of Bianca Bhagat as senior vice president, synch & brand partnerships. Based in Los Angeles, she will oversee AWAL’s global synch & brand partnerships team, pursuing creative marketing opportunities for the AWAL roster, according to the announcement. Most recently with Glassnote, leading the Film and TV department [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content