Review Summary: Katy Perry's roars on Prism..But is it more bark than bite?7 of 7 thought this review was well written
You’re a gospel singer gone bad, you’ve kissed a girl and jammed on a beach with gummy bears, cream and Snoop Dogg. So what’s next for the world’s hottest popstar? Well, for Katy Perry it’s cloudy as Prism lands in our ears. Opening with the teen-spirit anthem Roar, her lead-off single which may as well be a sequel to Firework, is a great opener and pumps you up for the album, leading into a series of love and sex fuelled songs filled with EDM and House beats as if we’re back in the 90’s, with Birthday and Walking On Air feeling as if they were plucked from the obscure hits of that very decade. Never being one to hold back, Katy flourishes in her lusciously laced lyrics and this time, it feels like she’s taken that formula and sugar-coated it in even more mainstream appeal then before, such as the lyrics for Birthday “I know you like it sweet/ So you can have your cake/ Give you something good to celebrate”, is this pop genius or pop cheese? But it isn’t just sex she sings about, her on-off romance with John Mayer must be going to her head as she sings “All your insecurities/ All your dirty laundry/ Never made me blink” on Unconditionally, a love ballad to make us all put the lighters in the air at her concerts.
Her romance with Mayer definitely takes up her mind on this album with songs such as Dark Horse reeking of risqué romance with America’s baddest musician. Musically, at this point, it’s anthemic, you can really feel she’s taken songs such as Firework and ET from her previous album, gone over them with love and sex, wrapped up with that Katy Perry charm and aimed to conquer the world. That’s all well and good but never before on a Katy Perry album have I ever come across a filler, and unfortunately, Prism has a few. It is pretty much ripped from the Ke$ha recipe book, This Is How We Do, is the daddy’s girl rich kid anthem, but it feels so cheap, and tacky for Katy, that it falls on deaf ears. But that’s not to say it’s not catchy, it just feels un-needed. That’s the biggest problem with this album, and it’s criminally genius at the same time: It’s infectious. Whether the song is a single, a ballad, filler or whatever, it sticks in your brain like gum to your shoe. International Smile marks the end of the up-beat set of thirteen, and it’s terribly good, and terribly catchy, it even steals a trick or two from Daft Punk’s playlist, a continuation of the EDM and house that is becoming the stripes the popstars don these days.
Of course, the second half starts a lot slower, as in Ghost, Perry has crafted the teenage heartbreak song, singing of broken promises of love such as “Cause every gift, every letter, every promise of forever/ Now, it’s out of sight/ Like you were never alive”. Lyrics like these make bells ring in the minds of many young, and even the old. The second half is indeed a more insecure, more open book into Katy’s feelings. The sad part to this though is that the wonderful, raw, emotional lyrics are lost in broken beats and over-done production, letting the song down. Songs like Love Me lack that something extra that really would make them staples of her set for many, many years. The wonderful thing about Katy Perry is that even an average song is still a great song. One of the album’s highlights, a secret gem if you like, is Double Rainbow that is thrown in unfortunately in the middle of some fillers towards the end. A simple, slow beat in the back is wrapped in beautiful lyrics of love “They say one man’s trash is another girl’s treasure/ So if it’s up to me, I’ll keep you forever”. Album closer, By The Grace Of God is the closest you’ll get to the haunting Pearl from her Teenage Dream album and could have been her tour de force if done correctly, yet like a lot of the album’s second half; the songs lack something, the lyrics falling on too simple a melody.
Prism isn’t a bad album, not at all, but it definitely isn’t her best. The problem with this album is that it lacks the charm and kookiness that filled her first two albums deliciously and is instead replaced with a pick n mix of other pop-star’s signatures, with the latter half of her album feeling very Emeli Sande whilst other parts scream Miley Cyrus. It feels as if Katy should of released two EP’s rather than an album, as the first half is a lot more upbeat, and happier, and focused on the heated side of love whilst the second is slower, darker and focused on the rougher and truer sides of love. But, the single best and worst thing about this album is that you’ll be singing every song, whether you like them or not, all day long.
Individual Song Scores:
Legendary Lovers- 4/5
Walking On Air- 4/5
Dark Horse- 3/5
This Is How We Do- 3/5
International Smile- 4/5
Love Me- 3/5
This Moment- 2/5
Double Rainbow- 5/5
By The Grace Of God- 3/5