I am not a fan of John Mayer. I think he’s an egotistical douchebag and despite his many apologies for the rude comments he’s made about women, my opinion is unlikely to change because, well, he just oozes skeeviness. Similarly, I’m not a super big fan of his girlfriend Katy Perry. While she certainly makes a good song about roaring, she has no problem appropriating other cultures for her own artistic and financial gain and I’m not down with that.

Still, I’m getting a huge kick out of the photoshoot that the lovebirds recently posed for in support of their duet, “Who You Love.” The photos, shot by famed photographer Mario Sorrenti, look like they’re straight out of a 1996 smooth jazz calendar. Even better? John and Katy almost look like siblings in them.

I mean, take a look: Katy looks like she’s wearing the ribbed turtleneck I rocked during the winter of 1992 (when I was, for the record, six years old). John looks like a sizzly cowboy. It’s…cozy, yes, but somehow also creepy? Combined, the effect is that of a super dramatic portrait of a very Flowers In The Attic pair of siblings.


This is the actual single artwork, which is less dead-eyed but somehow equally as off-putting. I get the classy, sultry, black velvet vibe they were going for, but something about this is just so, so off. Maybe it’s the fact that Katy looks kind of stoned and John looks like he’s crooning to his guitar rather than his girlfriend? Or the fact that something about this makes me think of Dove dark chocolate bars instead of sexy talented musical couples.

You can check out the rest of the photos over on Vanity Fair, which published them exclusively. John and Katy have broken up and gotten back together a few times already, but hey, they seem pretty happy. I feel like real-life couples who use their relationship to sell music usually end up less than happy (with the notable exception of Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, who’ve been using their marriage to sell concert tickets for years and don’t seem any worse the wear for it), but here’s hoping that these two crazy kids can keep it together—relationship exploitation, turtlenecks and all.

Photos: Mario Sorrenti for Vanity Fair