Music column: Katy Perry's "Prism"
Published: Monday, October 28, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 28, 2013 22:10
Katy Perry is back and sassier than ever with her fourth studio album, titled “PRISM.” Similar to her previous albums, Perry presents an eclectic mix of different tracks, from empowering anthems to reflective songs about moving on after overwhelming loss.
While Perry’s writing and direction with the album is a solid effort, it seems that the songstress overreaches with some of her tracks.
Songs like “International Smile” seem to evoke a cookie-cutter formula and left me feeling like Perry was trying to too closely emulate past pop anthems like “California Gurls.”
The first single from “PRISM,” titled “Roar,” was released on Aug. 10 and is a feisty, feel-good anthem that channels Perry’s hit “Part of Me,” which was featured on her last album.
“Unconditionally,” the second single, showcases Perry’s ability to pair quality lyrics, a pop ballad sound and her raw vocals—something that she does not always show off in her music.
Although Perry has acquired a fan base for her pop-music sound, primarily due to tracks like “I Kissed A Girl” and “Firework,” her distinctive voice is rarely accredited.
I’m probably alone in saying I could do without most of Perry’s popular radio played tracks and became a fan due to songs such as “Lost,” or her MTV Unplugged album.
These songs, while less decorated with fast paced melodies or playful lyrics, showcase Perry’s fresh, yet underappreciated talent.
This can be seen in some of the tracks presented in the “PRISM” album, notably “By The Grace of God,” “Ghost” and “This Moment,” but for the most part, Perry distracts listeners with some disco and techno infused beats.
Despite the numerous tracks that were too over the top, like “Birthday,” “This is How We Do” and “Dark Horse,” Perry’s song writing, which were all collaborations with other artists and writers, like Emeli Sande and even her boyfriend, John Mayer, was for the most part a refreshing effort.
Perry refers to personal experiences in some of these tracks, like her divorce from comedian Russell Brand (“By The Grace of God”), while others, whether autobiographical or not, are simply quality writing.
While “PRISM” may not be a flawlessly produced album, it’s still worthy of listening to. Perry’s pop princess status is still alive and well, but hopefully next time around she’ll trade a few of the extravagant nightclub sounding tracks for ones that show off her talent as a vocalist.