Katy Perry: Prism - Album Review
It may not be earth-shatteringly original, but it's a fantastic pop album!
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Katy Perry has been on one heck of a PR tour for her newly released album Prism. Following the international success of Teenage Dream, which went triple-platinum and made Perry the first woman and second artist ever to release five number 1 singles from one album, the pressure was on for Perry to deliver. She promised us a darker, wiser and more grown Katy, writing this album throughout her public break-up from short-term husband Russell Brand. She had lived the Teenage Dream, she fell in love; now she is living the grown-up reality, where love doesn't always work out.
The sound is distinctly pop Perry, written in collaboration with Dr Luke and Max Martin. Roar, the first song on the album and the first single released, very much epitomises the message of the album, which is one of empowerment and self-belief, peppered with lyrics like "I have to love myself the way I want you to love me…No more standing in my own way." (Love Me). With the first song, she roared in Brand's face; she roared in Gaga's face, claiming the number 1 spot (again) from the fame monster herself; and she roared back into the charts. If this album is anything to go by, she will be roaring through the charts for many weeks to come.
Roar, Birthday (in which Perry is the cake and is quite happy for you to eat her), Walking On Air (with its 90s Sweet Sensation vibe) and This Is How We Do are the sort of songs that the boys will love on the dance floor. It's contemporary pop at its best, and that's what Perry does best. But it's not all sugary sweet. Across the album, Perry flips between independent and empowered lady who parties with her friends ("Catch her if you can, because she is so in demand", International Smile) and the scorned but vulnerable ex ("I admit half of it, I'm not that innocent…Let me be first, baby, to say I'm sorry" she cries in It Takes Two).
The album is replete with those love songs that Perry is known for. Legendary Lovers sounds like E.T meets Bollywood - and, amazingly, it works. Double Rainbow is one of those soft pop songs that you can imagine lying on a bed and kissing your boyfriend. Spiritual is pretty sexy, with dark melodies and provoking lyrics like "Lay me down at your alter, baby, I'm a slave to this love. Your electric lips have got me speaking in tongues." Oh my...
Perry hasn't made a dark and heavy-hearted album as she promised. She has delivered Teenage Dream 2.0. It's light on the ears, there are some stand out songs, and she has filled the album with songs to make you dance with your friends or act pseudo-emotional as you walk in the rain. It's not what she said it would be, but it's exactly what we want. We love her pop synth sound and heartfelt, cliched lyrics. Prism was much-hyped and it was worth the wait. Put it on and press the repeat button - you're going to be listening to it for some time…
GT gives this a 4/5. Perry Pop Perfection.
Words: Darcy Rive