Like magic, Katy Perry has released another obvious hit last Tuesday and gets down like a hood rat with her trap-inspired single, “Dark Horse.” The second single from her upcoming album, Prism, could not be released at a more perfect time of year; “Dark Horse” has Halloween written all over it.
The track features a verse by hot-fire rapper, Juicy J. The juxtaposition of Perry’s hypnotic voice and the dark, crusted rap by Juicy J bring together the ingredients for a perfect musical storm.
In the bridge, Perry sings, “So you wanna play with magic/Boy, you should know whatcha falling for/Baby do you dare to do this/Cause I’m comin’ at ya like a dark horse.” She continues, “Are you ready for…/A perfect storm…/Cause once your mine, once your mine,” while Juicy J emphasizes, “there’s no going back.” He does this on top of a melodic, uptempo beat with a kick-drum build-up leading into the downtempo, trap verse.
It’s interesting to note that “Dark Horse” doesn’t have a particular chorus. The song begins with a verse, transitions into a bridge, and jumps back into the verse again. You would think that there’s an obvious chorus in the song, but I beg to differ. I think Perry is experimenting with song structure, much like Lana Del Ray, Lorde and Karmin. I’m certain Miley Cyrus is “bangerz” over the vibe in this song though. If she doesn’t end up twerking to “Dark Horse,” that’s OK. Everyone else will.
Warning: You may feel the need to raise your steering wheel and rest your seat back if you listen to this song in your car.
On the contrary, the spooky, witchy tone is counterbalanced with whimsical, fantasy-like lyrics. I would be lying if I didn’t mention that “Dark Horse” reminds me of a contemporary Stevie Nicks song wrapped in a hip-hop hoodie sowed together with EDM thread. Much like most of Nicks’ lyrics, there’s empowerment for all women to be found in Perry’s words on “Dark Horse” because she sings about what it would mean to fall in love with her and how her love is inescapable, putting her in control. I also want to commend Perry for the uniqueness of the track while staying true to the supernatural theme throughout the song.
The new single was actually chosen by Perry fans in a recent Pepsi contest in which fans voted between “Dark Horse” and “Walking on Air” for the chance to be Prism’s second single. I’m very pleased to see Perry fans made the appropriate choice.
“Dark Horse” is currently ranked #7 on the U.S. iTunes Top 10 Songs and is available on the site now.Powered by Sidelines