Album Review: Katy Perry – Prism [2013]

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I don’t know why, but I like Katy Perry. This is her third album and it’s called Prism. So many NSA jokes. Most indie blogs would laugh at the concept of listening to a pop album, but we have no shame. It’s an interesting time for Katy Perry. Does anyone ever refer to her by her first name? Her contemporaries have really gone off the edge recently in terms of well, being Rhianna/Lady Gaga and now she’s gotta fend off Miley. While both those artist seem interested in pushing the boundaries further and further, Katy has stayed within her comfort zone and produced another completely non controversial album. Who will win? who knows. Who cares actually.

Here are my thoughts as I listened to Prism for the first and maybe last time.

Roar
Everyone’s heard this song about 100 times already. It’s probably about Russell Brand, and probably one of those rah rah songs that girls have at their chocolate ice cream Ben & Jerry parties whenever one of their friends has a breakup. This song is incredibly catchy and primed for some stadium sing alongs.

Legendary Lovers
First off, anything with the word Legendary in it has to be delivered Barney Stinson style. This track has some bad pseudo rapping that I thought only Robbie Williams was capable of. Is that a sitar in the background? This sounds like song that Pink rejected for some reason. The high notes that Katy attempts in this song sound awkward and painful. There’s some sort of tribal interlude in this song that makes me think the music video will feature Katy Perry on some sort of Native plains dressed as pocahontas or something. That’s not too bad, now that I think about it.

Birthday
Katy dials it back to the 80’s with this song. This song is most definitely going to be played at a lot of teenager’s birthday parties this year. It’s a really good strategy to write songs around things that you know will happen yearly. I mean, let’s look at 50 Cent’s “In Da Club”, everyone still does the “go shorty, it’s your birthday”. If you told me this song was from 1987 and was on the Facts of Life show, I would totally have accept it to be true. “It’s time to bring out the big balloons” I wonder what that is referring to.

Walking on Air
Enter the club track. Shoulda hired Calvin Harris. He might be expensive but he delivers. The buildup/breakdown is just not there. This sounds more like a track you hear on Chris Sheppard’s pirate radio. This could actually be a Love Inc. cover.

Unconditionally
Very awkward chorus as Katy tries to make “Unconditionally” work. Stop trying to make “Unconditionally” work, Katy. It’s an awkward word. Run of the mill slow ballad that is made worse by the odd usage of “unconditionally”. Worse track so far on this otherwise decent record.

Dark horse
Who the fuck is Juicy J? Why is he introducing this song. When Rihanna has a rapper introduce her, it’s Jay Z. Katy’s gotta up the guest spot budget. This sounds like an exploratory voyage in to hip hop pop. With slightly darker beats and random hip hop elements. “She eat your heart out/like Jeffrey Dahmer” Way to divert attention to serial killer cannibals! Let’s glorify violence some more!

This is How We Do
This song should be “This is How We Do it” and it should of been a Montell Jordan cover. Sadly, it is not and Katy hired the guy who sang “it’s our party we can do what we want” part in We Can’t Stop to sing “this is how we do” part. “Grab a taco/checking out hotties” and “Getting our nails all did Japanesy” does not sound like lyrics written by a 30 year old women, unless it’s one with a severe case of arrested development.

International Smile
This song reminds me of Teenage Dream, only not as good. She’s kind of bragging about flying worldwide, which I don’t think many people can relate to. But then again, how many people can relate to Katy Perry.

Love Me
Forgettable track but also sounds pretty good. Something you can have in the background and be completely a-ok with it. Kind of like the whole album. Maybe that is the key, not to be great that you can to focus on the music, but not awful so you have to turn it off. Then somehow the music gets absorbed subliminally and the next thing you know, you know all the lyrics to this track. Check with me next week.

This Moment
Just the title sounds like it’s epic and sure enough the chorus sounds primed for a stadium anthem. Katy tackles the whole “what is life about” theme with this track, doesn’t really break new ground, but no one’s expecting her to give a TED talk about life any time soon. Of all the songs on this album, this one is most primed to be remixed by house DJ’s just for the build up potential of the line “All we have is this moment/tomorrow is unspoken” line. I can already see lasers.

Double Rainbow
Does anyone even remember Double Rainbow guy? Why write a song titled after a meme? Is Grumpy Cat or Sad Keanu going to be on the next track? Is the Double Rainbow guy guest singing on this song? Nope

By the Grace of God
Clearly the solo portion of any concert, with her in a blazing evening gown and a singular grand piano. Bring out the lighters.

Overall, a reasonable effort but seemingly devoid of a mind numbing catchy hit like Teenage Dream or Hot-N-Cold. It’ll sell a bazillion copies regardless.

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Posted on by Ricky in Albums

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Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.

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