Thursday, September 09, 2010


Song: Firework
Artist: Katy Perry
Album: Teenage Dream

Unquestionably, pop sensation Katy Perry had the song of the summer as "California Gurls" spent six solid weeks at number one on the Billboard charts and sold three million copies.  Currently, the second single, and title-track from the album has just become Perry's third number one. ("I Kissed a Girl" was the only one from her debut.)  So the girl has connected with a large audience... is that why I find her such a guilty pleasure?

Maybe it's because of the flat-out pop, cotton-candy esque-ness of the whole package, the kind of dumb lyrics... I dunno.  But I also find the girl totally charming, and her songs about as resistible as a bowl of skittles.  Now, she does have every top hit maker in her corner on this album (Max Martin, Dr. Luke, Greg Wells, Stargate, etc.) but it's also very important to point out... the girl writes EVERY song she does.  (She also co-wrote Kelly Clarkson's hit "I Do No Hook Up")  So I do credit her with being a lead in who she actually is.

The album is actually a pretty great collection of pop tracks, from party anthems to mid-tempo ballads, that I must say, despite my aversion to such, are pretty good and not cringe-inducing. (Like when Britney gets serious y'all.)  "Teenage Dream" isn't super upbeat yet it's chorus is so bloody infectious, fun, summery... it's inescapable.  I certainly like it better than "Gurls" and when this happens... what can you say, you've hit upon something.

Speaking of killer choruses, confirmed third single "Firework" certainly has a winner... soaring, with Perry's trademark "HOW ABOUT I SHOUT THE CHORUS" thing that still really works.  I haven't been able to get enough of the track and see another hit for her in the fall. (It officially gets released in October.)

I don't love all of the record for sure, but don't think I'm completely the target audience.  "Peacock" is a "Mickey-esque" pep-rally type that is juvenile even for her, and I don't find "Circle the Drain" to be totally convincing. (It's about a famous ex-boyfriends drug problem.)  Surprises for me include the mid-tempo ballad "The One That Got Away," another soaring straight-forward chorus that seems totally genuine, and I really dig the strange future-pop of "E.T."

In the it's-all-been-done pop landscape, I really feel that Katy Perry has carved an interesting niche for herself.  I can totally get when people say they hate her... but she's won me over.  I really liked this quote about her approach to the album.

"The second record is really important to me because I think it shows whether I'm meant to do this, or I got lucky."

I think she was meant for this.  And millions of fans are backing that up.



Teenage Dream


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