Review Summary: A slightly edgier Avril Lavgine, with greater lesbian tendencies.
I'm sure a good portion of you have heard the infectiously catchy and downright ridiculous first single off of Katy Perry's debut album "One of the Boys", titled "I Kissed a Girl". And if you haven't, well I'm sure you will soon enough as it has made it's way into Billboard's top ten. Though the premise of the song is laughable, and the lines "I kissed a girl and I liked it, the taste of her cherry chapstick" is sure to make quite a few people shake their heads in disgust, that won't stop it from being a hit. And not only a hit, but likely an anthem for bi-curious pre-teens trying to take the next step into full blown whore-dom.
All that aside, the song itself is a fairly well constructed pop song that I cannot say is completely terrible. Thus is the story for the album itself. Terrible lyrics, adolescent subjects, but enough bubblegum pop/rock goodness to hold your attention...and from the get-go, it's obvious Katy Perry is trying to follow in the footsteps of fellow pop punk princess Avril Lavigne. The similarities are astounding, but Ms. Perry surely is trying to set herself apart from her peers. Obviously, releasing your first single about bi-curiosity is a relatively edgy way to burst onto the music scene. But "I Kissed a Girl" is only one song, and isn't entirely a good indication of the entire album.
For starter's, she tries to implement tacky humor into her songs, often failing. "Ur so Gay" is a pathetic song bashing her artistically inclined "indie" ex-boyfriend with amateur lines like "I hope you hang yourself with your H&M scarf, while jacking off while listening to mozart" or "You don't eat meat, and drive electrical cars, you're so indie rock it's an almost an art"...and then the cringe worthy chorus "You're so gay and you don't even like boys" The music itself is catchy, and the chorus even approaching sultry, but the lyrics make the song a bloody mess. And one of the catchiest pop songs on the album "Mannequin" also suffers from this symptom. The otherwise great song filled with interesting synths and palm muted power chords is brought down the moment she decides to belt "You're not a man, you're just a mannequin" . Terrible lyrics are often a staple in this genre, but these often leave me shaking my head and ruining the song altogether.
And the album suffers from one thing a pop album never wants to do, it gets boring. The first half of the album is filled with great pop hooks and energy, but towards the end it really starts to tail off and blend together. "Hot N Cold" is where things start to lag in particular. A song reminscent of Hellogoodbye, very synth and beat driven during the verse, and then a competely forgettable chorus kicks in and the boredom ensues throughout the rest of the song.
And the inclusion of a few mid-tempo ballads that sound too similar spread out throughout the album really weigh it down. "Lost" and "Thinking of You" following the same sappy formula and are too similar for their own good. It's a downfall of hers, because she is at her best when the music is upbeat and angry, and the slow placed ballads simply throw off any momentum and flow the album was gaining and show that without any angst or anger being thrown at you, she comes across as sleep-inducing.
So overall, the album is littered with potential but is bogged down by terrible lyrics and generic songwriting. She is no doubt easy on the eyes, and she seems to have loads of personality, but she needs to display if better in her music. With a little fine tuning and time to mature, it's easy to see her breaking away from the Avril Lavigne comparisons, and maybe even becoming a more tame version of Joan Jett. But for now, she obviously has her mind more set on pleasing the crowd of young girls and using her sexuality (and yearning for other women) to draw in the boys, and because of this and other contributing factors, "One of the Boys" is just a boring mess.