To describe the adorably fun Katy Perry as boring would never work. But to describe the songstress’ fourth album, Prism, as boring would fit as perfectly as Cinderella’s glass slipper.
Prism took Perry three years to make. It’s her follow-up to the massively successful Teenage Dream and, sadly, it does not come close to the energy and bubbly nature of her previous album.
The first single, “Roar,” has joined the chorus of overplayed songs on the radio. The beginning of the song shows promise of being something more than an endlessly irritating repetition of clichés. What could have been a great girl-power ballad is brought down by a predictable chorus of, “I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire / ’Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar / Louder, louder than a lion.” Come on, Katy!
On “Birthday,” Perry brings back some of her whimsical cupcake girliness. It’s a fun tune, the type that awkward girls in movies play while getting ready for the first date with the cute guy who has finally noticed her. It’s reminiscent of Perry’s hit “California Girls.” While it’s certainly not musically challenging or particularly exciting, it’s an enjoyable, upbeat song that her fans are sure to love.
Perry’s attempt at a club anthem is “Walking On Air.” It has a promising start, with excellent production for a dance tune. However she repeats, “I’m walking on air,” exactly 35 times in the song, which brings the song dangerously close to the Rihanna-esque music formula of doing nothing but repeating the chorus.
The second single of the album is called “Unconditionally.” This is Perry’s promise to the ever-yucky John Mayer that she will love the sleazeball forever. Poor Katy. Why she chose to use this as her second single is an unanswered question. It’s completely boring and utterly predictable.
“Dark Horse,” featuring Juicy J, is the only exciting song on the album. As the title suggests, the song shows a darker side of Perry’s music. It’s an extremely well-produced future mega-hit, and in collaborating with Juicy J, Perry explores something new for her music. Taking a cue from Miley Cyrus and collaborating with up-and-coming rappers, Perry’s choice of including Juicy J adds something exciting to an otherwise sleepy album. However, Juicy J’s lyric “She eat your heart out / Like Jeffrey Dahmer” is more than a little icky. The rest of the song, though loaded with predictable lyrics, is a great listen.
Perry shows why she’s a girl’s girl in “This Is How We Do.” It has a catchy beat, and is just a plain ol’ girls-hanging-out anthem. “Said to Barbara, chique, at the super rica, grabbing tacos, checking out hotties / Now we are talking astrology, getting our nails did, all Japanese-y.” It’s not deep or particularly meaningful, but it’s fun and shows Perry’s quirkiness.
The thing about Perry is that she’s such a likeable superstar, but she’s smarter than this album portrays her to be. Her lyrics are so predictable that Prism loses Perry’s famous spark and glitter. It’s boring and lacks the fun energy that made “Teenage Dream” such a successful album. While it’s clear that this is her attempt to create slower, more meaningful songs, she gets lost in trying to make every song a hit. Prism is chock-full of overproduced songs that will undoubtedly be replayed 1,000 times a day on the radio. But they are just plain boring. Perry is famous for her joy and creativity but ‘Prism” is all regurgitated thoughts from previous stars with fresher ideas. Prism is a sadly disappointing album from the previously exciting Katy Perry.
2 out of 5 stars