Review Summary: Studio version of spunky young pop-punker works surprisingly well.
People even make out to hit singles these days. When enigmatic young Katy Perry decided that Christian gospel music was out of fashion, and started making songs with decidedly in-fashion lyrics, did she ever presume that she would lose her concentration performing it live when two young (wannabe? maybe this kiss doesn't mean they're lesbian and they hope their boyfriends don't mind it) lasses decided to uh, kiss each other? Perhaps she didn't, judging by the obvious reaction, but still her vanilla-coated pop songs should provoke these reactions from the young spunky teenagers that just want to try to kiss another girl, for, well, the hell of it.
What's also pretty sure is that by the looks of it, Katy Perry is going to get a horde of people that want to make out with her for this record; and that's not because the record is all that good. Her, for lack of a better word, sexy outfit on the front cover (good thing she's not naked or she would be even more faux-riot-grrl), sure is going to make all these young guys take notice of her; and as she apparently wants it, their female counterparts too. And you think that that'd be all that there is to a pop record, too. It has a good lead hit single in the form of "I Kissed a Girl", there's an uh, love ballad ("Thinking of You"), and for the people who just can't get enough of Paramore and co, she's decided to write some songs Hayley Williams would be proud of ("Fingerprints", "Self Inflicted").
But of course, the lyrics are the main focus here. She's got good tunes, the occasional godawful-where-did-you-get-that-synth-sound-from-please-don't-use-it-on-an-album keyboards, and a decent backing band, but in the end it's all about the lyrics and how much people are going to relate to it. "I Kissed a Girl" obviously has no problems translating, and when she taunts an ex-boyfriend in "Ur So Gay" (and you don't even like
boys!), it looks like she's got her act down to a T. She's more obnoxious than Avril Lavigne was when she spelled out "Sk8er Boi", she's got a bigger sense of cranky humour (viz. "I hope you hang yourself with your H&M scarf"), and overall she's just lyrically more interesting; it's like Fall Out Boy's new record is being sung through the eyes of a girl.
Predictably, there also are the filler moments on a pop record ("Mannequin", "I'm Still Breathing"), and there probably is such a moment when her incessant taunting towards everything that has a penis is a bit too much: "you change your mind / like a girl changes clothes." Maybe she just hasn't figured out yet that she wants to get laid sometime; then again, maybe, as the lead single suggests, she's fine with getting laid by people of the same sex. In any case, the tone is aggravating, and some people might just plain get pissed off by the lyrics (beware, Christian parents, this lass advocates LGBT sexuality!)
But in the end, this disc comes clean on the proper side when it shows it has good tunes. "Hot n Cold"'s danceable beat is bound to be a live favourite, and I sure wouldn't mind hearing it at a party. She flings off infectious choruses like they're ex-boy (or girl) friends, which is visible on "Waking up in Vegas." And basically, she's just plain fun to listen to; she doesn't have that uncomfortable feeling listening to it like, say, Avril Lavigne has. And last of all, why would a guy feel uncomfortable buying a record that advocates woman-on-woman action?