Why Bonnie McKee's Brilliantly Silly "American Girl" Is Smarter Than It Sounds
McKee, who's written a crapload of giant hits for Katy Perry (nearly the entire Teenage Dream album), Britney ("Hold It Against Me"), Ke$ha ("C'Mon"), and Adam Lambert ("Cuckoo," "Chokehold"), is finally getting her chance in front of the mic after being responsible for selling over 25 million singles around the world.
And you probably still have no idea who the hell she is.
"American Girl," her debut single from her upcoming major release, has all the makings of a radio hit: Dr. Luke-produced theatrics, a rebellious tone that rivals Ke$ha's glitter-covered oeuvre, and an irresistible chorus that simultaneously celebrates and condemns what it means to be a young female in the United States during these kooky 2010s.
"I was raised by a television, every day is a competition, put the key into my ignition..."
McKee is like a GenY It Girl, even though she has yet to penetrate the zeitgeist. In the song, she's a nearly-30 party girl who wants to be taken seriously while pursuing her dreams of "taking over the world" (there's no specific plan because, well, pop music allows for such vague declarations). It's kind of a hard goal to achieve when she's still getting drunk outside 7-Elevens and "moving my body" in order to get ahead in life.
On the other hand, the single is simply her coming-out party anthem, a jam concocted for both slumber parties and car rides to the clubs.
And that's why this earworm works. It covers all the bases while unabashedly embracing its defiant attitude.
As for the music video? It's a sly, cameo-filled PR stunt in which a slew of celebs lip-sync for the camera (Perry, Lambert, Carly Rae Jepsen, KISS, Jenny McCarthy, Joan Rivers, Kathy Griffin, Macklemore -- to name a few). Heck, it's better than lining them up in front of a Flip cam and having them say, "Hey, we're rich and famous and approve of this chick...mainly because she helped most of us get rich and famous." And in between the Skyped-in video footage, we catch a glammed-up Bonnie prancing around in American-flag booty shorts.
How patriotic of her.
What do you think?