×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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

  • This undated file photo shows South

    Sulli Death: K-Pop Industry Mourns Singer, Cancels Events

    Concerts, promotional operations, and press events in Korea were cancelled Tuesday, following the sudden death on Monday of prominent singer-actress Sulli. Sulli, real name Choi Jin-ri, was 25 when she was found dead at home near Seoul. Sulli’s manager said that Sulli, formerly part of girl group f(x), had recently suffered from depression. While no [...]

  • Halsey, Rosalía, Becky G, Akon to

    Halsey, Rosalía, Becky G, Akon to Perform at 2019 MTV EMAs

    Halsey, Rosalía, Becky G, Akon, Ava Max, and Mabel are the first artists announced as performers at the 2019 MTV Europe Music Awards, the global music show which will air live from Spain on Nov. 3. Pop star Halsey returns to the EMA stage with three nods for Best Collaboration, Best Pop and Best Look. [...]

  • Kane Brown 52nd Annual CMA Awards,

    Kane Brown's Staples Center Concert Postponed After Drummer's Death

    A sold-out concert by country star Kane Brown scheduled for Friday at Staples Center in Los Angeles has been postponed until January, due to the death of the singer’s drummer, Kenny Dixon, in a car accident Saturday in Tennessee. Brown was scheduled to perform Friday at the first of several gigs intended to celebrate the [...]

  • Jay Frank

    Universal Music Group's Jay Frank Remembered: 'He Was One Step Ahead of Everybody'

    Even as a student at Scotch Plains High School in New Jersey, Universal Music Group executive and digital music veteran Jay Frank — who died Sunday at the age of 47 after a battle with cancer — was destined for a career in the music business. Most recently UMG’s senior vice president of global streaming, [...]

  • Kenny Dixon, Drummer for Country Star

    Kenny Dixon, Drummer for Country Star Kane Brown, Dies in Car Accident

    Kane Brown and his fans are mourning the death of the country star’s drummer, Kenny Dixon, in an automobile accident in Tennessee Saturday. “I’m gonna miss you so much man. I’d always come back and jam out with u,” Brown tweeted on Sunday, posting a photo of himself standing on the drum riser grinning at [...]

  • Chambers Brothers

    George Chambers, of 1960s Hit Group the Chambers Brothers, Dies at 88

    George “Pops” Chambers, singer and bassist for the Chambers Brothers, best known for the 1968 hit “Time Has Come Today,” died Saturday at 88. “The best big brother you could ever have,” Willie Chambers wrote on his Facebook page Sunday night. “I am so sad, and at the same time, I’m so glad to have [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content