If there’s anything Katy Perry knows how to do, it’s how to get me dancing around my room shouting her lyrics at the top of my lungs (don’t pretend like you haven’t done it before). Her latest album, PRISM, does exactly just that. There hasn’t been much from Perry since the release of her sophomore album Teenage Dream in 2010, which produced five No. 1 singles with it’s “bubble-gum and summer independence” pop feel. PRISM contains the typical upbeat party singles that we’re all used to hearing, but also develops into a deeper, more sensual feel as the album progresses.
Songs such as “Birthday” and “Walking On Air” exemplify Perry’s ability to perform for her fan base, while songs like “By the Grace of God” and “Double Rainbow” peel back the layers of Perry’s tough exterior. After having this album on repeat for the past 24 hours or so, I’ve come to the conclusion that Perry is trying to get in touch with her spiritual side. She’s almost 30, just suffered from a divorce, and is constantly being compared to artists that don’t come close to the sound she’s going for (i.e. Miley Cyrus). I don’t think Perry is making a statement, nor is she just having fun anymore; she’s just finally taking her music seriously.
Some tracks such as “Ghost” pull on the strings of one’s heart, expressing Perry’s ache over from her recent breakup with well-known English actor Russell Brand (“Cause every gift, every letter, every promise of forever/Now, it’s out of sight/Like you were never alive”). But don’t lump her with Taylor Swift; her pain is raw and she’s exposing herself for her fans to really get to know who she truly is. Even in the fun tracks such as “Legendary Lovers”” one can emotionally feel the power she tries to convey.
But not even Perry can pull pain that deep all the time; she’s still sticking her crazy colored, eccentric pop background. “Roar” and “Dark Horse” suggest that maybe Perry isn’t as grown up as everyone wants to believe. While I’ll admit the songs are incredibly catchy, I expected a little more out of her. Here she has all these angst that she so desperately wants to share, but it’s overridden with computerized beats and the ever so typical “dubstep drops” so to speak.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the message she’s trying to send with “Roar.” We’re empowered, nothing can hold us down, be yourself… okay, we get it. This song isn’t as focused on Perry’s personal life, but I guess I shouldn’t judge someone trying to light the fire of self-esteem in her audience.
Overall, Perry hit the nail on the head with her sappy love-ballads and catchy singles, while staying true to herself and refusing to let her light-hearted spirit die out. It may not produce as many record setting hits as Teenage Dream did, but we can definitely expect to hear these songs on the top 40 for the next few months. Perry’s here to stay, whether anyone believes in her or not. Score: 7/10