Not the End of the World (song)

"Not the End of the World" is a song recorded by American singer Katy Perry for her sixth studio album Smile (2020). It was written by the singer, Michael Pollack, Madison Love, Jacob Hindlin, and Andrew Goldstein, and was produced by Goldstein and Oscar Görres. "Not the End of the World" is a trap-pop track with an underlying disco beat, sampling a melody from Steam's 1969 song "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye". Compared to her 2013 single "Dark Horse", the track gained mixed reviews from music critics, who depreciated its message in context to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Not the End of the World"
Single by Katy Perry
from the album Smile
ReleasedDecember 21, 2020 (2020-12-21)
GenreTrap-pop
Length2:58
LabelCapitol
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Katy Perry singles chronology
"Smile"
(2020)
"Not the End of the World"
(2020)
"Electric"
(2021)
Music video
"Not the End of the World" on YouTube

"Not the End of the World" was promoted as the fourth single from Smile, on December 21, 2020, with an accompanying music video directed by duo Similar But Different. The visual features a group of blue-skinned aliens who accidentally abduct American actress Zooey Deschanel, mistaking her for Perry. The singer performed the single during T Mall Double 11 Gala and on her concert residency Play (2021–22).

Background and compositionEdit

"Not the End of the World" was written by Katy Perry, Michael Pollack, Madison Love, Jacob Kasher Hindlin, and Andrew Goldstein. Production has been held by Oscar Görres and Goldstein, which also held the track's instrumentation with keyboards and programming.[1] Musically, it is a trap-pop[2][3][4] song with disco beat[5] and is written in the key of D minor.[6] It starts off with the chorus, after which there is a drop.[7] Lyrically, the song talk about how harsh criticism is not the "end of the world".[8] Additionally, a melody from Steam's 1969 single "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" is present in the pre-choruses and during the outro.[9][10][11]

Release and receptionEdit

 
Perry performing "Not the End of the World" during her Play concert residency at Resorts World Las Vegas in December 2021.

"Not the End of the World" was released as the sixth track on Perry's sixth studio album Smile (2020). It was also included on her sixth extended play, Cosmic Energy, released on December 18, 2020.[12] On December 21, 2020 Perry released a music video for the song, making it fourth single of the album.[13][14][15][16] The song's lyrics were described as inappropriate to be released during COVID-19 pandemic. Joe Muggs from i newspaper called the track's "enjoy the ride" narrative to be "out of place".[17] Writing for Insider, Courteney Larocca commented "I understand this song was probably made pre-pandemic, but that still doesn't excuse the decision to release it".[11]

"Not the End of the World" received mixed reviews from music critics. Lindsay Zoladz of New York Times called the song a "try-hard anthem" with its hooks being "expensively cleared, but none of them click".[9] Commenting on Perry's vocals, Dani Blum from Pitchfork said that the song has her "pseudo-rap" about a "fortune teller and 'flipping off the flop'".[5] The Guardian's Emily Mackay opined that the track "feels forgettable and anonymous".[4] Vulture.com's Craig Jenkins commented that "Not the End of the World" is one of many songs from Smile which "sell motivational boilerplate, waving away passing clouds but never describing what the storm felt like".[18] Leah Greenblatt from Entertainment Weekly paired the song with its preceding album track "Resilient", saying that they "offer turn-that-frown-upside-down bromides for the mildly depressed".[19] The Independent's Helen Brown called "Not the End of the World" one of "low points" of an album.[3] Hannah Mylrea from NME criticized the song for being "radio fodder, adopting trendy production techniques to gloss over a lack of substance".[2] On more positive note, Idolator's Mike Wass called "Not the End of the World" a "Smile highlight"[20] Aynslee Darmon from ET Canada said that the song is "perfect track to end 2020".[21]

Writing for PopMatters, Nick Malone said that the song's lyrics "center on nebulous positivity" and that they are "too saccharine to hold any pathos", when he called whole "Not the End of the World" an "overly ambitious sister" of "Dark Horse" (2013).[7] Writing for USA Today, Patrick Ryan called the track a "filler" and "muddy 'Dark Horse' retread" which is full of "empowerment clichés".[22] Callie Ahlgrim of Insider wrote that the song is "supremely tone-deaf", "more formulaic than fun and more radio-thirsty than compelling",[11] and that the interpolation of "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" "makes an impact that's more confusing than anything else".[11] Alexa Camp of Slant Magazine stated that the single's success "rests almost entirely on a melody lifted from Steam's 1969 hit 'Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye'" and pointed out similarities to "Dark Horse".[10] Wass was keen of the sample, dubbing it as "addictive".[23]

PromotionEdit

Music videoEdit

Before Katy Perry (left) bleached back to blonde, her appearance was compared to Zooey Deschanel (right), which later led to giving her idea for "Not the End of the World" music video.

The "Not the End of the World" music video was directed by duo Similar But Different, and was published on Perry's official YouTube channel on December 21, 2020.[24] Perry announced the release of the video the day before with a two-second snippet of the video.[25] It stars American actress and singer Zooey Deschanel, to whom Perry's appearance has been compared to for years, which gave her the idea for this video during her maternity leave.[26][27]

In the video, the Earth is set to be destroyed.[15] The clip begins with a scene in which Deschanel reads a newspaper and Perry passes by with baby pram in an Unsub Records cap.[28] Blue-skinned aliens, who are obsessed with the singer, want to abduct her to save her from the planet's destruction.[15] When a toy drops from the carriage, Deschanel picks it up wanting to give it back to Perry, but suddenly she is mistakenly taken by aliens. They think that she is Perry, even though she is unsuccessfully trying to explain to them that she is not.[29] She is teleported to their flying saucer,[30] where she is introduced to the alien's captain,[28] getting dressed in Perry's outfits from earlier eras, including Teenage Dream looks. Additionally, there are references to "Roar", Smile and "California Gurls" outfits can be seen in the background.[31] Deschanel later asks the two aliens who abducted her to help her save the Earth.[26] This is accomplished at the end of the video by unplugging Earth's internet.[29] The video ends with Deschanel wearing a blonde wig, lip syncing the last chorus of the song for a crowd of aliens.[13][28]

Live performancesEdit

Perry performed "Not the End of the World" as a part of medley with "Never Really Over" and "Roar" during T Mall Double 11 Gala in November 2020.[24] Next year, the singer embarked on her first concert residency entitled Play on December 29, 2021, where she included "Not the End of the World" in its set list.[32]

Credits and personnelEdit

  • Katy Perry – vocals, songwriting
  • Andrew Goldstein – backing vocals, songwriting, production, vocal production, guitar, keyboard, programming, vocal engineering, studio personnel
  • Oscar Görres – production, keyboards, programming
  • Madison Love – backing vocals, songwriting
  • Michael Pollack – backing vocals, songwriting, piano
  • Jacob Kasher Hindlin – songwriting
  • John Hanes – mixing engineering, studio personnel
  • Serban Ghenea – mixing, studio personnel
  • Dave Kutch – mastering, studio personnel
  • Rachael Findlen – studio personnel
  • Ashley Newton – A&R
  • Chris Anokute – A&R
  • Lauren Glucksman – A&R

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Perry, Katy (August 28, 2020). "Smile / Katy Perry / Credits". Retrieved January 11, 2021 – via Tidal.
  2. ^ a b Mylrea, Hannah (August 27, 2020). "Katy Perry – 'Smile' review: pop icon sounds somewhat recharged, but lacks the fireworks of old". NME. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Brown, Helen (August 28, 2020). "Katy Perry review, Smile: Pop star resorts to bright'n'boring basics". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2022-06-21. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Mackay, Emily (August 30, 2020). "Katy Perry: Smile review – tireless trouper loses momentum". The Guardian. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  5. ^ a b Blum, Dani (August 28, 2020). "Katy Perry: Smile Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  6. ^ ""Not the End of the World" Sheet Music (Piano Solo) in D Minor". Retrieved January 12, 2021 – via musicnotes.com.
  7. ^ a b Malone, Nick (August 31, 2020). "Katy Perry Struggles to Get Out of Her Head on 'Smile'". PopMatters. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  8. ^ Solomon, Kate (August 25, 2020). "Katy Perry, Smile, review: when life gives you lemons, make sweet, fizzy pop". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  9. ^ a b Zoladz, Lindsay (August 27, 2020). "On 'Smile,' Katy Perry Finds Purpose (and Pitfalls) in the Past". New York Times. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  10. ^ a b Camp, Alexa (August 24, 2020). "Review: Katy Perry's Smile Feels Unmoored from the Current Moment". Slant Magazine. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  11. ^ a b c d Ahlgrim, Callie (August 28, 2020). "Katy Perry barely elicits any real emotion — let alone a grin — with her new album 'Smile'". Insider. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  12. ^ Kaufman, Gil (December 18, 2020). "Katy Perry Drops Surprise 'Cosmic Energy' EP". Billboard. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  13. ^ a b Rowley, Glenn (December 21, 2020). "Watch Aliens Abduct Zooey Deschanel Instead of Katy Perry in 'Not the End of the World' Video". Billboard. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  14. ^ Lavin, Will (December 23, 2020). "Taylor Swift celebrates Katy Perry's new music video, calls it 'genius'". NME. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  15. ^ a b c Corcoran, Nina (December 21, 2020). "Zooey Deschanel Plays Katy Perry in Music Video for 'Not the End of the World': Watch". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  16. ^ Curto, Justin (December 21, 2020). "Zooey Deschanel Plays Katy Perry in Music Video, Culminating a 13-Year-Old Joke". Vulture.com. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  17. ^ Muggs, Joe (August 27, 2020). "Katy Perry, Smile, review: A darker, mature star is emerging". i. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  18. ^ Jenkins, Craig (August 28, 2020). "Katy Perry Is Still in a Lane All Her Own". Vulture.com. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  19. ^ Greenblatt, Leah (August 24, 2020). "Katy Perry brings more of the same on sunny but familiar fifth album Smile: Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  20. ^ Wass, Mike (November 10, 2020). "Katy Perry Performs "Not The End Of The World" Live". Idolator. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  21. ^ Darmon, Aynslee (December 22, 2020). "Taylor Swift Says Katy Perry's Music Video Co-Star Zooey Deschanel Is 'GENIUS'". Entertainment Tonight Canada. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  22. ^ Ryan, Patrick (August 24, 2020). "'Smile' review: Katy Perry is a pop star with nothing to prove on frothy new album". USA Today. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  23. ^ Wass, Mike (August 28, 2020). "Album Review: Katy Perry's Illuminating 'Smile'". Idolator. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  24. ^ a b Burton, Brittany (December 21, 2020). "Katy Perry Releases New 'Not The End Of The World' Visual". Hip Hop Weekly. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  25. ^ Sollosi, Mary (December 21, 2020). "Aliens mistake Zooey Deschanel for Katy Perry in 'Not the End of the World' music video". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  26. ^ a b Sisavat, Monica (December 23, 2020). "Oops! Aliens Mistake Zooey Deschanel For Katy Perry in 'Not the End of the World' Video". PopSugar. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  27. ^ Ehrlich, Brenna (December 21, 2020). "Zooey Deschanel Gets Abducted by Aliens in Katy Perry's 'Not the End of the World' Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  28. ^ a b c Hines, Morgan (December 23, 2020). "Katy Perry reveals she pretended to be Zooey Deschanel to get into clubs before she was famous". USA Today. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  29. ^ a b Alston, Trey (December 21, 2020). "Zooey Deschanel Is Katy Perry Is Zooey Deschanel Is Katy Perry". Paper. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  30. ^ Breihan, Tom (December 21, 2020). "Aliens Confuse Zooey Deschanel For Katy Perry In 'Not The End Of The World' Video". StereoGum. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  31. ^ Brodsky, Rachel (December 22, 2020). "Katy Perry admits she used to pose as Zooey Deschanel to get into clubs". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2022-06-21. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  32. ^ Gray, Mark (December 30, 2021). "Katy Perry Sings in a Toilet, Toasts a Giant Mask, and Plays the Hits at Vegas Residency". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on December 30, 2021. Retrieved February 5, 2022.