Review of Katy Perry - "Firework"

Katy Perry

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There is a quite compelling simplicity in Katy Perry's third single from the album. "Firework" is a straightforward, economical self-esteem anthem. The song wastes no time in getting to the point and gives razor-sharp focus to its message. As a result, it is a perfect pop record being catchy, highly melodic and designed to make every listener feel good. Effervescent pop singles rarely get better than this.


According to Katy Perry speaking about the inspiration for "Firework," her then-fiance Russell Brand showed her passages from Jack Kerouac's classic On the Road that spoke about liking people who are buzzing, fizzing, full of life and never say anything commonplace. They shoot across the sky like a firework. The quote from Jack Kerouac is as follows:

"But then they danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!'"

"Firework" may certainly lack the eloquence of a brilliant prose writer, but it does generate its own point that anyone could be like Jack Kerouac's "yellow roman candles" if they open the doors to let themselves express what is inside. Dance-oriented producers Sandy Vee and Stargate add an oomph to the beat that will make the song sound powerful in clubs. The lack of adornment to Katy Perry's voice here adds to the simple message of the glow within every individual person.

Katy Perry has emerged this year as one of the top female artists in pop music around the world. The first two singles from Teenage Dream have both gone to #1, and "Firework" may follow them there. Her unique personality adds to the authenticity of this potent slice of inspiration for anyone who might consider themselves ordinary. Time for you to "shoot across the sky."

"Firework" reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It spent four weeks at the top. It was also a #1 hit on adult pop, adult contemporary, and dance charts. It sold seven million copies in the US alone. "Firework" also reached #1 on the Canadian pop singles chart while going to #3 in the UK and the top 10 in most countries around the world. 

The accompanying music video for "Firework" was filmed by director Dave Meyers in Budapest, Hungary. The triumphantly themed video was dedicated to the It Gets Better project. "Firework" won the Video of the Year Award at the MTV Video Music Awards. 

"Firework" earned two Grammy Award nominations including for Record of the Year. It was performed as the finale to Katy Perry's Super Bowl Halftime Show.