Sometimes relationships end with extremes. Fireworks that fuel people’s passion turn to intense longing or dramatic displays. Some people are willing to overcome near-insurmountable odds just to get back to the one they love, or fall so deep into a pit of brokenness that they think they’ll never climb out.
Most times they don’t.
Relationships often run their course and people move on, forever impacted by the time spent together but still fully functional. There will always be awkward moments and creeping memories, and usually that’s the real battle damage. It’s antithetical to what most songs and movies portray but it’s mostly the real story.
It’s an adult tone that Katy Perry seems to have found in the lead-up to her fifth album. On “Never Really Over,” she sings about memories trickling back in and the way they warp over time. It’s a hopeful post-breakup song rooted in reality, more about backsliding into something you’ve tried to leave behind than any undying desire that needs to be quenched.
Perry continues on “Small Talk,” examining the weird standpoint of people and the roles we force them in and out of. People that were so close and a part of us we sometimes completely erase. “We went from strangers to lovers to strangers in a lifetime” she sings. “Now just memories.”
Again Perry finds a mature take on the aftermath of a relationship, because it is strange to go from planning futures to struggling to find things to say. It is a rarely explored angle, that sounds amazing as it dances along a stellar, stuttering beat.
“Small Talk” is written and produced in part by Charlie Puth and Johan Carlsson, and is now available everywhere.
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