Full disclosure: this isn’t the first article I’ve penned regarding a Katy Perry song and it certainly won’t be the last. What’s remarkable about this particular song, however, is something rather unique for me when it comes to breaking down what I felt made a song great for me. On the contrary, I don’t feel like “Electric” from Pokemon 25: The Album is one of Katy’s best songs, nor did I find the song itself memorable. What stood out to me, and what actually shocked me, was the strength of the music video. That’s saying a ton considering the blockbusters Katy Perry has had with music videos.
Another full disclosure: I am a massive fan of the Pokemon franchise. It was known to the general public for quite some time that Katy Perry and the Pokemon Company were planning a collaboration in celebration of the franchise’s 25th anniversary. It was certainly welcome news for me. Pokemon was a very important part of my childhood and continues to be a topic of great interest for me today, beyond simply nostalgia’s sake. But when the music video for “Electric” finally dropped, something I expected to be little more than a gimmick, I didn’t expect to be as blown away as I was.
The overall theme of “Electric” as a song is solid enough, and keep in mind it’s meant to be rather simple and straightforward. Pokemon is still a kids show and video game franchise, after all. It’s a song about finding the power within yourself to be the best you can be at what you love, which is kind of the major theme of Pokemon in general. But, despite rather simplistic lyrical content, the beat is catchy enough and Katy’s singing strong enough to keep you invested.
The music video is what makes the song work best, anyway. Obviously, a song called “Electric” is going to feature the Pokemon franchise’s most recognizable and popular character, pop culture icon electric mouse Pikachu. But, for me, what really grabbed me about the video is how it features a teenage character trying hard to become a music star. Credit to Meile Aspen who absolutely mirrors Katy herself as a teen. As a dedicated Katy Cat, the performance actually gave me chills. It’s also pretty neat that, at the time, her Pikachu was still in her baby form, Pichu. And, yes, I can confirm that the Pikachu is a girl, thanks to the heart shape on her tail. Yes, I’m that much of a Pokemon nerd.
Katy Perry’s music videos have long been known for their grandeur. But, for how innocent and kid friendly this was meant to be, watching the young Katy (who resembles teenage Katheryn Hudson to a tee) actually tugs at my heartstrings. For such a boilerplate pop song, the music video still haunts me just in its absolute truthiness. These struggles were actual truth for a young Katy, and it’s very hard for people now to realize just how much of a long shot she really was before her smash hit with “I Kissed a Girl.” This a theme that Katy has hit on multiple times throughout her music catalog, and she did so most recently and quite poignantly with “Daisies” on her 5th studio album, Smile.
Of course, “Daisies” was a beautiful, well-written, well-composed, and absurdly underrated song on a highly underrated record. “Electric” is a song for Pokemon’s 25th anniversary and it’s not even that great of a song – far from her worst work, but certainly quite far from her best. However, thanks to director Carlos Lopez Estrada’s masterwork, “Electric” has one of the most powerful of Katy Perry’s music videos.
For me, the music video for “Electric” is up there with the power of “Part of Me” and “The One That Got Away.” Is it the best of her music videos? Of course not. But, from a nostalgic point of view, with Katy looking back at herself in the late 90s, at the same time that Pokemon became a worldwide phenomenon, it works fantastically well. The emotional pull of a longshot kid making an electric breakthrough might be far from a new story, but this one is told in a unique way. Who knew that Pikachu and Katy Perry would work so well together? Perhaps, we should have seen it coming, but I certainly never did!
If you need something to light up your day, on any day, go check out the “Electric” music video.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons user Zeq55, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.