This is one of those tracks I expected to be a pretty good single commercially speaking. Yet, it hasn't performed all that well. It's only charted as highly as #24 on the Billboard Hot 100. It's done a bit better on the Mainstream Top 40, topping out at #18. It's too bad, especially considering how cute and quirky the music video for it was. I think it should have done better than "Birthday" as the summer song it was meant to be - but it just didn't connect with the mainstream audience in the way that Katy imagined that it would.
"This is How We Do" has some good things going for it. That deep electronic male voice really irks me and the song would've been better off without it. It is a bit more cleverly written than "Birthday" which basically ran on a very simple and rather base premise - that is, not so cleverly hidden, sex is fun. (At least that's how I read it - I don't know about you!) This song is just all about acting out and just having a good time. Yeah, we all do stupid things in the name of fun and Katy makes some "shout-outs" to some particularly ridiculous things. It's got a great beat and the chorus is definitely memorable.
This is how we do, yeah, chilling, laid back
Straight stuntin' yeah we do it like that
This is how we do, do do do do, this is how we do
It's simple, but it works. It seems like one of those simple choruses that would carry a song like this into the Top 10 at the very least. That just didn't happen. The gimmick didn't work. I could break down the verses and do a more thorough analysis, but I don't think that there's anything there to explain why this song has been one of Katy's greatest "failures" as far as her singles have gone. Obviously, you've done pretty well for yourself when topping out at #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 is a "failure." But it really did not win over the mainstream, and I'm a bit puzzled as to why.
I will say the bit towards the end where she says "no, no, no, bring the beat back!" to be absolutely adorable - especially in the video. The song has plenty of energy, and while I'm sick of songs about mindless dumb fun, especially that involves "clubbing", Katy does it in a cute enough way for it to not annoy me.
Back in November, I rated this song a 7.5/10. I'd hold to that rating. I've gotten a bit more faith in "Dark Horse" since then - especially after its video - that atrocious monstrosity of a video - actually won the MTV VMA's award for Best Video! After my recent review, I'd have to say this is now my least favorite track - and that's not to say I don't enjoy it. "This is How We Do" is just a guilty pleasure for me. It doesn't drag down the rest of the album for me, but it's never going to be one of my favorite Katy tracks.