I’m a snob—a person who is extremely particular about what music, movies, and books I consume— However, I have a confession to make… I love Katy Perry.
It’s shameful really, to have a High Fidelity worthy music collection and then have snuck in there, Teenage Dream. The CDs on rotation in my car right now are: Sufjan’s Age of Adz, Devendra Banhart’s Cripple Crow, The new Head and the Heart album and Katy Perry. I admit that I love “T.G.I.F” and “Circle the Drain” puts me in the same poor-taste crowd as the folks who wait in line for the newest Twilight saga movie.
When I say, I love Katy Perry… I essentially mean the one album (Teenage Dream). (Hot N’Cold is a horrendous mix of songs that deserves to be a part of a record-burning night). However, Teenage Dream is the type of album that you can karaoke or sing with your girlfriends at the top of your lungs to. The album is a memory or experience reflector. “T.G.I.F” reminds me of how I spent many summers with friends and “The One that Got Away” reminds me of high school love. Yes, I KNOW, The music isn’t anything ground-breaking and the lyrics are beyond simple; I wouldn’t tell my friends to pick up the album, but there is a difference when listening to something for entertainment purposes (or dancing).
Katy Perry’s new album Prism has been promised to be more of a “darker side” of the pop-star. When I heard her first single off the album, “Roar” I hated it. But hence the problem with top 40 songs, they become overplayed and suddenly “Roar” becomes addictive (oh and yes, I like cats).
“Legendary Lovers” is some sort of hippie/India song with an attempted rap mix. The song is confused on what genre it is supposed to be, it is extremely difficult to listen to. The song gets interesting at about 2:20 when there is a hand-drum breakdown with “legendary lovers” being sung slightly over the top of the beat. I have no idea under what circumstance one could enjoy this song- you certainly wouldn’t belt it in your car and I’m not sure even a nightclub could get an audience moving on this.
“Birthday” has a disco-type tempo, certainly making this album more interesting than Teenage Dream- it doesn’t appear to be a turn-key pop-album that will get the artist more number-1’s than Michael. “Birthday” stands out as my favorite on the album, blending together a mix that reminds me of both Janet Jackson and Prince.
“Walking on Air” is annoying, but it would be the perfect dub-step jam. I could certainly do some slow-motion dance moves in neon outfits to this song.
“Unconditionally” reminds me a bit of “Firework”, but with weaker vocals. “Dark Horse” is another jam that would do well in a dub-step environment. I like this song, I like the beat with the slow vocals flowing through it. Although I feel awkward saying there is something sexy about this song because it mentions Jeffery Dahmer, the slow draw on the lyrics is enticing.
“This is How We Do” sounds like something Rebecca Black would create. The lyrics are among her worst. But I guarantee you it will be a hit for her. I gave it until, “gettin japan-esy,” was spoken and then hit skip. The only comment on “International Smile” I have is where on earth did the attempted Kenny-G solo come from (maybe a play off “T.G.I.F”)?
“Love Me” will make its way onto break-up mixes. It is definitely a girl power jam- finding independence after a heartbreak. The second half of the album essentially follows the theme of “girl meets boy, love ensues. Boy leaves. Girl questions herself. Girl finds herself. Girl is now bitchen.” I suppose that is why the album is called Prism – “finding yourself,” “awakening” etc. Of the tunes following this theme, “Of Grace of God” is likely to be her most popular ballad.
Overall this album is at least a departure from her prior release (more grown-up, but in a more appropriate way than this), experimenting with different techniques. It feels less pop-centric than Teenage Dream, but still has plenty of songs that will get you on a dance-floor. Of course, I wouldn’t say I’m on my way to becoming an official Katy Kat, but I still love Katy. It will be interesting to see how she performs these songs on stage as there are a few of them that don’t lend themselves to the grand theatrical gestures that Katy leans on for her performances.
Alright, I’ve revealed my “guilty-pleasure” artist, who is yours?