Courtesy Photo (2)
Katy Perry feat. Juicy J
Let It Go
KRISTEN YOONSOO KIM: My dad keeps telling me I simply HAVE TO watch "Frozen." He’s probably right! But there’s no way I can listen to “Let It Go” with a straight face. I’m sure it’s fine in a Disney movie, but in a pop bracket round, Katy Perry wins. “Dark Horse” is pretty cheesy, too, but play it at a party and I will get down to it. Plus, I’m kind of a secret KatyCat… (Sorry, Adele Dazeem!). My Vote: “Dark Horse”
ERIKA RAMIREZ: “Dark Horse” taps into my sonic taste more than Menzel’s “Let It Go.” Also, people hate me less if I sing “Dark Horse” from the top of my lungs, than “Let It Go.” I’d like to keep my friends. My Vote: “Dark Horse”
JAMIESON COX: Here's a bold claim: Katy Perry has never sounded better than she does on "Dark Horse." She has more powerful and rangy performances in her repertoire, sure, but that simple trap-pop beat draws out a sneer and a bit of attitude, giving a vocalist who tends toward the bland some character. Of course, it doesn't get much more technically impressive than "Let It Go," which remains an impressive showcase for powerhouse Idina Menzel. But when it comes to this matchup, I'm opting for slinky menace over inspirational pap. My Vote: "Dark Horse"
NICK WILLIAMS: "Dark Horse" just has so many hooks layered in it -- the trappy, broody production gives Perry a really unique sonic springboard for her vocals, which twist and turn in extremely dynamic ways here. I was really put off by the Egyptian-themed video, but as a pop song it's just a really innovative blend of genres. And I think it’s pretty impressive that it wasn’t even supposed to be a single. My Vote: “Dark Horse”
JEM ASWAD: You’re skipping the playoffs and going straight to the Super Bowl with this one: Pitting the catchiest song on one of the catchiest albums of the year — I know every word thanks to my daughter’s hardcore fandom — against the most brilliantly insidious pop song to hit the preschool set since one of Elmo’s top jams. Both songs are great, but obviously the nod goes to “Let It Go,” which has the most wide-ranging appeal of any song in years, from my 2-year-old nephew to this wizened snob — the chorus of this, the most ubiquitous song of 2014, still gives me chills. Dear lord that pun wasn’t even intentional… My Vote: “Let It Go”OVERALL WINNER: “Dark Horse”