#REVIEW: KATY PERRY – “PRISM”
Remember when Alanis Morissette found her inner-peace on 1998’s Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie after shocking and delighting our Pop senses with 1995’s Jagged Little Pill? Admit it – you were a bit disappointed. I know I was. Katy Perry however, after catapulting Fans into a state of Euphoria with 2010’s multi-Grammy-nominated Disc Teenage Dream, delivers a sense of lightness as she forges ahead in maturity on her latest offering, Prism.
Sonically, the Disc takes the grandness of Anthems like Teenage Dream and Firework, amplifying Perry further into arena-sized territory. Tracks sound richer, fuller and incorporate an even wider range of influences. On several of the Disc’s brighter moments, she looks abroad for influences. First Single Roar, already a certified International Smash Hit topping Charts in over nine Countries, took us straight into the Jungle. Affecting second Single Unconditionally, accented with some distinctly Chinese instrumentation, strikes a chord emotionally as she sings her devotions to Boyfriend John Mayer and adoring Fans alike: “I’ll take your bad days with your good/Walk through the storm I would/I do it all because I love you/I love you.”. The catchy Legendary Lovers is spiced with an East Indian flare and clearly Perry‘s worldwide success has taken her on some real soul-searching, which she subtly has sprinkled throughout Prism.
Make no mistake though – Perry certainly still is a California Gurl and knows how to have her some fun. This is How We Do is a cut from the same glittery cloth as Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.), enabling pure recklessness, all while giving nods to Megastars of the ’90s like Backstreet Boys and Mariah Carey. Birthday certainly is an Homage to the latter in its slinky R&B-inspired Pop with Perry‘s signature Double Entendres, teasing “So let me get you in your Birthday Suit/It’s time to bring out the big ballons.”. Walking on Air is pure-unadulterated ’90s Camp, recalling an Era where Black Box, C&C Music Factory and Cathy Dennis reigned supreme. Sorry, Kids – just Google or YouTube these Guys.
A while ago, Perry was hinting that this Disc would be a bit darker, but I don’t see this being the case. She does go deeper and almost every Track here is a unique Pop moment in its own. The Disc doesn’t at any point feel as though she is competing with or trying to outdo Teenage Dream nor One of the Boys. Vocally, she relaxes while sounding aware of her strengths, just absolutely letting go – taking us away with her. Although saved late in the sequence, Electro-Pop Ballads This Moment and a Sia co-penned Double Rainbow truly are beautifully melancholic and visceral.
We would be terribly amiss not acknowledging the Team of Writers and Producers involved in making this piece of Pop Perfection. Contributors Max Martin, Dr. Luke, Bonnie McKee, Cirkut, Greg Wells, Benny Blanco, Greg Kurstin, Klas Åhlund and StarGate are Masters of the Pop Domain, a vast majority of them already having built a long-standing relationship in-studio with Perry. This could well be the secret to her success as some of her Contemporaries struggle to hold our attentions trying new things. Really, why alter a winning Recipe?
I absolutely adore Prism and find it most thoughtful that Perry would gift me with this Disc on my Birthday with its Tuesday, October, 22, 2013 release via EMI Music Canada/Universal Music Canada.
Download the Deluxe Version on iTunes here.