A definitive ranking of the 30 greatest Kim Petras songs of all time
The vibes shifted after Kim Petras called her boobs Mary-Kate and Ashley
I have been a card-carrying Kim Petras Bunhead for as long as it’s been humanly possible. Since her debut single dropped in 2017, I’ve tracked her career with fervent admiration and have been eternally impressed by her sheer pop prowess, stratospheric vocals and developed musical aesthetic. Seeing Kim make history this year as the first openly trans woman to get a number one hit in the UK and the US has been so euphoric. Now she’s got her number one, and with new lead single If Jesus Was a Rockstar out now, what better time to look back and get the 30 greatest songs of Kim Petras’ career ranked?
So, here it is. My die-hard fan ranking of the 30 greatest pop bangers by the consistently excellent, criminally underrated superstar Kim Petras. Woo AH.
The first taste the world got of Clarity, Broken is a trap-infused banger that I remember underwhelmed me on first listen but grew into a quietly brilliant and lyrically devastating track that feels like the first true experimentation with genre in Kim’s career. It’s a darker vibe than anything she’d done previously, and whilst it has dated a bit since it first dropped the verses still go hard.
29. In The Next Life
This Turn Off The Light cut is the first time Kim Petras has released a track featuring her singing in her native German. It’s got a Lady Gaga Scheiße pulsating throb to it that makes it one of the clubbier cuts on the iconic Halloween album. Kim release more tracks in German challenge!
28. Party Till I Die
A final bonus track added to the end of Turn Off The Light in 2020, Party Till I Die has some of the most satisfying production across all of Kim’s discography. The vocal production on the prechorus is sensational, and if you want a song to close out your Halloween with some spooky fistpumping, this one’s for you.
27. If Jesus Was A Rockstar
In what is the start of a new era, If Jesus Was A Rockstar sees Kim Petras team up with arguably the biggest pop producer and writer in the world, Max Martin, to craft a lead single that is a stylistic shift from anything she’s ever done before. Guitar lead, emotionally written and an interesting exploration of LGBTQ+ people’s relationship towards religion and how we’d all feel if religion was a bit cooler, it’s an intriguing segue into the post-number one Petras future.
Kim Petras really turned up on a Sam Smith single and did a random verse about loving handbags, stole the show and got a history making number one single in the process. If that isn’t icon behaviour, I don’t know what is.
Thumping beat, amazing bars from Kim and a queer triumph of the charts. Bailey J Mills changed the song forever on TikTok when they changed the lyric to “at the coffee shop”.
25. Everybody Dies
The true finale of Turn Off The Light is a song that abandons the rest of that album’s tone completely for a swan song that sees Kim build a reflective and moving ode to death, and how “not everybody lives, but everybody dies.” Make the most of life whilst you have it. There’s something so powerful and visual about Everybody Dies – you can almost picture the final girl of a horror film surviving and daylight breaking as it begins. Such a great way to end the album. “Give me all my roses whilst I’m here!”
24. Wrong Turn
I would like to consider Wrong Turn as a dedicated ode specifically to the icon, legend and star that is Eliza Dushku.
On a broader scale, it’s an all-out love letter to horror films. It’s not just the film in the title getting namechecked, My Bloody Valentine and Final Destination get nods too – and all that with a thumping synth line and a euphoric flip when Petras’ vocals switch from the verse to the pre-chorus.
23. Your Wish Is My Command
The shining jewel of the controversial Slut Pop EP, Your Wish Is My Command is the final and best track on the project and has some of the most danceable production I’ve ever heard on a Kim Petras track. The synergy between her vocals and that beat that makes you want to salsa your hips in the sluttiest way possible is legendary. The final 30 seconds having a Multiverse of Madness production glitch is 10/10.
22. Sweet Spot
You know when you’re on a night out and everything’s at its absolute peak? You and all your friends are on the same blissful level of wavy, everyone’s smiling, the night’s at its crescendo. You never want it to end. It won’t get better than this exact moment. Well, that’s Sweet Spot.
21. If U Think About Me…
One of the most sparkling, glittering, dreamy Era 1 singles – If U Think About Me is pure 80s teen movie soundtrack bliss. It’s so saccharine and gorgeous, built around a Kim Petras signature catchphrase: Rhyming Woo-Ah with You-AH! The final vocals after the bridge are amongst the best in her career.
It is truly the work of a genius to include a hybrid Halloween / Christmas song on your horror album – an ode to the Black Christmases and the Krampuses of the world. Carol of the Bells meets apocalyptic prophecies with staggering death tolls? Truly just brilliant. So many amazing moments in this track, but the sheer power in the recall of “COME DELIVER US” is the real epic highlight.
19. Slow It Down
And slow it down she does! Of all Kim Petras songs ranked here, it’s Slow It Down where Kim went for a dip in the Ariana Grande lake – a silky smooth, velvety showcase of her vocals with an R&B backing instrumental that gives this track a grown up and sophisticated tone. Not that that makes it better than any of her pure pop rammers, but more stands as a testament to Petras’ increasingly varied versatility.
18. Got My Number
If a track could be made for the gays, it would be Got My Number. With its “What’s up bitch” intro and lyrics that feel like the events of my latest Grindr hookup, Got My Number is quintessential Petras and another outstanding Clarity track. Shout out to Kim’s publicity team for promoting this with a billboard over the Westboro Baptist Church.
The definition of a grower. I remember thinking this trap-infused intro track to the project of the same name was unremarkable on first listen, and yet it’s got better and better on every listen. I love Kim’s verses on this so much. It’s the perfect intro – it’s her Next Level Charli.
16. Close Your Eyes
Kim Petras says that Close Your Eyes is the song that birthed the entire Turn Off The Light project, and for that, we are forever grateful. Turn Off The Light is for Halloween what Mariah’s Merry Christmas is for, well, Christmas.
Close Your Eyes should be made the werewolf national anthem. Kim puts herself as a beast that transforms into a monster after dark, eats hearts and sings “I FEEL IT COMING ON” at the top of her lungs at notes I could only dream of reaching. I never thought anything would be ranked higher than it when it comes to Turn Off The Light tracks, but there’s one of Kim Petras’ songs that just edged it out.
15. Personal Hell
Personal Hell is right in the middle of the ranked 30 best Kim Petras songs, which is apt because it feels like the perfect middle ground between Era 1, Turn Off The Light and Clarity. Found at home on the latter, the song has lyrics that feel Turn Off The Light-y but a melody that’s more Era 1 centric. It’s absolutely euphoric, like all the best Petras songs are. The way she sings TOUCH ME up the octave? Grammys.
14. All I Do Is Cry
The spiritual successor to Broken, like a Pokemon evolution. It builds on everything Broken did and betters it in every way. It’s one of Kim’s saddest songs ever, and manages to merge a trap beat with pop punk and emo influences that give it a WILLOW feel. In the world of Kim Petras, All I Do Is Cry is apocalyptically glum – but it stands out and is all the better for its unique misery.
13. There Will Be Blood
THEE best song on Turn Off The Light, There Will Be Blood is a war cry and a call to arms. It’s ominous, it’s an ode to sex, it’s got Daft Punk tinged synths up to the max and it features Kim Petras screaming down my ear that I’m going to die. If I go out streaming this, I’ll die happy.
12. Can’t Do Better
Can’t Do Better has always been a god-tier Kim Petras classic, but in 2022 it got the flowers it deserved after the song featured in the soundtrack for The Summer I Turned Pretty. The sheer power of the chorus alone can heal any breakup, any time someone mugs you off for someone else. Can’t Do Better is a healer.
11. All The Time
Baby, this is pop music. This is PAWP music. The verses are manic, the production is on level 100, the vocal processing is the perfect level of robotic, the second verse is sheer joy. One of my favourite things in music is when a pop star says a word and then the sound effect happens. It happens in Charli XCX’s After the Afterparty when she says “The glasses go clink”, and it happens in All The Time when Kim says “up I wanna pop.” If any pop song is going to make you wanna pop, it’s All The PAWPIN Time.
For the official lead single of Clarity, Kim Petras got possessed by the holy spirit of The Weeknd and created the coolest song of her career to date. There’s something to epically commercial and chartable about Icy that it’s a travesty it wasn’t her first big crossover hit with the general public. The music video, the epic chorus, the production… She left Starboy in the dirt. No better way to kick off the top 10 Kim Petras songs ranked.
9. Do Me
The filthiest, sexiest, cum soaked banger on earth. Do my ears like that again, Kim – I beg! The best song on Clarity, an outstanding vocal performance and should have won Song of the Year at the Grammys for the “high notes” falsetto bit alone.
8. I Don’t Want It At All
You’d be hard pressed to find a debut single by a pop star that is so effective in the way it perfectly tells you every single thing about Kim Petras’ aesthetic as an artist than this in recent memory. I Don’t Want It At All is so unapologetically shiny and pop that it makes Katy Perry’s back catalogue look like gritty noir. A materialistic anthem for the 21st century, a pampered diva theme tune that would make Sharpay Evans green.
Paris Hilton in the video? The icing on the cake.
The essence of Coconuts could be so frivolous and novelty in the hands of a lesser artist, but Kim Petras takes a funny concept about her tits and makes a masterpiece out of it. The word play on this track is insane. The lyrical choices are … Poet Laureate. “I give them different names, Mary-Kate and Ash-er-ley”, “Everybody loves the twins”, “Look at these margarita-tas!”
This is pop perfection to me. It’s both silly and excellent simultaneously. It’s funny and chaotic, but then she as a trans woman debuts a sex-pos song at the EMAs when they were held in Hungary after it passed laws against the promotion of pro-gay and pro-trans content. Coconuts suddenly becomes a defiant protest song of queer liberation… Legendary.
6. 1,2,3 Dayz Up
I am as big of a fan of SOPHIE as I am Kim, so this coming together of the two titanic forces of trans excellence in the music industry was about as good as it gets for me. SOPHIE’s unmistakable production is perfect – and I’m so glad that from what Kim said in her latest iD interview seems to suggest that the unreleased tracks that the two did together might still be released.
SOPHIE’s death is one of the biggest losses to the music industry in my lifetime, and 1,2,3 Dayz Up is a reminder of just how stellar she was, and how much of an excellent collaborator she always managed to be no matter who she was making beats for.
5. Hillside Boys
I imagine that when Katy Perry first heard Hillside Boys, she punched a hole in her house wall. If someone asked you what pop music was, you’d press play on Hillside Boys. It’s a four minute Californian dream of melting ice lollies, summer evenings and staying with each other til your tanlines match – one of the most gorgeous lyrics in pop history.
If I Don’t Want It At All was Kim’s arrival, Hillside Boys was her solidification of how excellent a songwriter and how huge a vocalist she is.
4. Unlock It
Unlock It might have Charli on top billing, but it wouldn’t be half as outstanding and decade defining as it is without the Kim Petras second verse feature. A sleeper hit that took off in lockdown on TikTok, Unlock It has always been one of the best songs of Charli and Kim’s career and five years after its release it still manages to sound like the untouchable future of pop music.
I’d also credit Charli and Unlock It for really giving the world Kim Petras. Like many others, I found my love for Kim through Charli being a tastemaker and curating Kim amongst the artists selected to collaborate with her on Pop 2. Looking up Kim’s back catalogue after seeing her name on the tracklist changed my life. And on that note, so did this banger of a song.
This song is what we all needed in the grim grips of the Covid pandemic – it is one of the best pop songs of this decade so far. Period. Kim’s turbulent road to releasing her major label debut has been very publicly awful – and Malibu is the lead single that never was. There’s just something so effortlessly cool to it, in my opinion. I love the retro strut it has.
The “at home” music video is pure joy, too, with the likes of Paris Hilton, Charli, Aquaria, Demi Lovato, Aly & AJ, Jonathan Van Ness, Jessie J and Todrick Hall making cameos alongside Petras fans who sent in videos vibing. What a time!
2. Future Starts Now
Major label Kim Petras debuting as a stratospherically talented superstar alert! Everything about Future Starts Wow is epic and expensive. Her songs have never sounded this glossy, this chic, this strong. Every second feels important, every stylistic choice feels cool, every note of the instrumentation hits. It’s a tour de force, a Parisian bop for the end of the world and the start of a new one.
Problematique getting shelved is a horrific loss to the pop universe, and I will never forgive Kim’s label for doing this era the injustice that it has. I hope one day the record surfaces on streaming. Future Starts Now should be taught in lead single class at music school til the end of time.
1. Heart to Break
Every artist needs a signature song, and for Kim Petras there is not a shadow of a doubt that such an accolade has to go to Heart to Break. It doesn’t get better in pop music than Heart To Break, a song that levels up its power bit by bit every step of the way before smacking you with its killer catchy chorus. It feels like the kind of song that should define an entire era, and it is undoubtedly deserving to be ranked as the number one of all Kim Petras songs.
The gentle way she brings it back down in the bridge and then lets rip with the huge “EVEEEEN” is the kind of moment that pop stars must only dream of getting to record. If any song or artist deserves a Lizzo-esque late breakthrough, it’s Kim Petras – and no song is more correct to do that than Heart to Break. Truly one of the greatest pop stars we’ve got – we’re not woo-ahthy.
Listen to the 30 Kim Petras songs ranked in a playlist here.
Featured image via @kimpetras on Instagram.