This Is How We Do
Katy Perry lives a carefree lifestyle in the peachy “This Is How We Do.”
In the intro, male voice manipulated to be the bass, says “this is how we do, this is how we do” over lax synths, setting a breezy tone.
Her boyfriend walks down the stairs and tells her it smells good. She flips over the pancake, saying “thank you.” He says he didn’t hear her get in last night. She said about an hour ago. From the kitchen window, she can see sun resting He sits down at the table and asks what she ended up doing last night. She says she and a couple of her girlfriends decided to break out the wine and then had a drunken ping pong tournament. As she puts the pancakes on a plate, she says she almost won it, too. However, one of her ping pong balls bounced from the pole and onto the couch, nearly beaning one of her friends. She remembers talking and all of them in their Chanel outfits. (“Sipping on Rosé, Silverlake sun coming up all lazy/Slow cooking pancakes for my boy, still up, still fresh as a daisy/Playing ping pong all night long, everything's all neon and hazy/Chanel this, Chanel that, hell yeah, all my girls vintage Chanel baby.”)
In the pre-chorus, she sits down with her boyfriend and eats some of the pancakes. He says she doesn’t have to stay up with him. She shrugs and licks the maple syrup off her finger, responding that she doesn’t mind. What’s a couple of more hours anyway? (“It's no big deal/It's no big deal/It's no big deal/This is no big deal.”)
In the chorus, she and her friends are easygoing people who go with the flow. (“This is how we do, yeah, chilling, laid back/Straight stunting, yeah, we do it like that/This is how we do, do do do do/This is how we do.”)
Later during the week, she picks up her girlfriends in her sports car. They are heading out to hang out in downtown Santa Barbara. They stop for the coolest restraurant in town, La Super Rica Taqueria. It’s a bit of a long wait in line but the tacos are worth it. She and her friends rate the guys in the restraurant. It’s decided that the guy across the street, sitting by his motorcycle is the most good-looking one. Next, they hit the nail salon. They read the magazines and discuss their horoscopes. Afterwards, they head to the bar. Today, they are featuring karoake. She and her friends dominate the stage all afternoon, warbling and screeching out one Mariah Carey song after another. (“Big hoops, and maroon lips, my clique hoppin' in my Maseratti/Santa Barbara-chic at La Super Rica, grabbing tacos, checking out hotties/Now we talking astrology, getting our nails did, all Japanese-y/Day drinking at the Wildcat, sucking real bad at Mariah Carey-oke.”)
The pre-chorus and chorus are sung again.
In the spoken bridge, she celebrates all the people who love the nightlife as much as her. They are not letting the real world stop them for enjoying their lives. (“This one goes out to ladies, at breakfast, in last night's dress/Uh-huh, I see you/Yo, this goes out to all you kids that still have their cars at the club valet and it's Tuesday/Yo, shout out to all you kids, buying bottle service, with your rent money!/Respect!”)
The chorus is sung twice.
In the second spoken bridge, she says the song is for all the people who had too much to drink and thought the person was hot. That is, until the next morning they see the person and wonder what they were thinking. “This is how we do/This goes out to all you people going to bed with a ten and waking up with a two/(This is how we do)/Ha, not me.”)
The chorus continues for a couple times until Perry notices that it has gotten quiet. She says the song isn’t over yet. (“What? Wait. No, no, no, no/Bring the beat back/That's right.”
The chorus is sung once more to end the single.
For those outside of California, La Super Rica Taqueria and the Wildcat are both real locations in Santa Barbara. The La Super Rica Taqueria has been written in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and the late Julia Child mentioned it on Good Morning. The Wildcat, according to their website, has been around since 1992 and has been voted the best dance club 8 times in the Independent, Santa Barbara’s local newspaper.
Perry’s relaxed vocals settle down on the beach chair and sip a martini or two. Nothing demanding is required. However, the casual attitude suffers during the spoken bridge. She seems really worn out, her voice ragged, and wants to go home to sleep. The “ha, not me” is nasally and cringeworthy to hear. If there was a time for another take, that was it.
Cute and cheeky does reach its limit on the “getting our nails did, all Japanese-y” lyric. It’s an ethnic stereotype. It may be mild but it’s an ignorant thing to say regardless.
The loose “This Is How We Do” provides a great tour of Santa Barbara.