Sure it “let the light in”… but a “Teenage Dream” it was not.
Now that the dust from “PRISM“‘s release has settled a bit, let’s talk about Katy Perry for a bit, shall we?
Everyone LOVES Katy… and not just her #Katycats… or her colourists.
can get away with looking weird at red carpets…
… and can sing live!
Okay, maybe not so much.
But after her candy-coated, certified double-platinum album “Teenage Dream“, things were looking grim for Ms. Perry. It was simply impossible to top such a stellar album. Spawning a streak of FIVE #1 singles in effortless succession (the only other artist to accomplish this was Michael Jackson with 1987’s “Bad“), the “Teenage Dream” era was UNSTOPPABLE.
But beneath the shiny pink wig was a team of nervous executives who were sweating buckets. “What would Katy do after this?” “What has she NOT done?”
Fast forward three years from that period and unfortunately, it seems like shooting candy frosting out of her boobs was, quite honestly, a possible peak in her career.
● “I’m Feeling Dark” ●
A close friend of daytime talkshow darling (and Oprah’s only legit rival) Ellen DeGeneres, Katy went from her cutesy, furry outfit in her 2010 Christmas appearance to goth queen just a year later.
Granted, she had just weathered her divorce from Russell Brand then… but even her demeanour was darker.
This was but the start of the confusing post-“Teenage Dream” era.
And then the promotional snippets came along where she um… burned her wig…
… you just wasted a perfectly good weave.
● ROAR!!! …now what? ●
AND THEN IT BEGAN.
The (annoying) smash hit of late-2013 outsold Gaga‘s “Applause“, sounded suspiciously a lot like Sara Bareilles‘ “Brave“, and HAD ABSOLUTELY NOTHING DARK ABOUT IT.
Perfectly made-up and stunningly airbrushed, Katy finds no reason to be an emo goth girl, even after she um… crash-lands in the middle of the Amazon jungle and loses her lover to a hungry tiger. Nothing to cry about, see?
This was a good single, I’ll give her that. But it was still very confusing to the masses who were expecting her to overload on the black lipstick and eyeshadow.
● Dark Horse Pt. 1 – THE FALSE START ●
Signs that her management probably didn’t survive that plane crash in “Roar” began to show when they teased the best song off the album as a promotional single.
And then chucked it away in favour of an iambic nightmare of a shampoo commercial jingle, “Unconditionally“.
Yes the video was pretty and not controversial, but unfortunately it also had permanent residence in the Forgettable Pop Trash Pile (and also a VIP Seat on the Weird Syllable Stresses Committee).
● Dark Horse Pt. 2 – THE RETRY ●
I’m guessing someone finally turned on the lights in her management’s office because the goons on Ms. Perry’s payroll FINALLY released “Dark Horse” as a single.
That trip-hop beat. Those breathy vocals. Don’t even try to tell me you don’t feel an urge to twerk/slut drop when the chorus’ beat comes on.
But the video.. oh dear lord, the video.
It was a perfect balance… between “what a waste” and “MESS”. She could have redeemed herself at this point with something “dark” (it IS in the name, after all), like a withcraft-themed video (she slayed this at the Grammys), but released this bizarre (read: low budget) visual instead.
This dark horse has effectively been mangled to death.
● Awkwaaaaard… ●
At this point you’d think “PRISM” can’t possibly get any worse, but Katy isn’t one to give up… though in this respect she probably should have.
To put it bluntly, the subsequent singles “Birthday” and “This Is How We Do” are horrifyingly sub-par.
“Birthday” was a bad song with an interesting video…
… while “This Is How We Do” was just a joke through and through. The vocal line is reminiscent of a glitching electronic piano, while the video is just plain lazy. Some may argue that she’s just “having fun”, but come on Katy, we all know you can do better than that.
● Time To Let The Light Out ●
Please, Katy, if you’re reading this (ha! AS IF), give us something (nice) to talk about. At this point I’m almost BEGGING for you to release the exotic “Legendary Lovers” as the next single (possibly your LAST single off the album).
We all know the second half of the tracklist isn’t radio-friendly (a bit like Bey‘s “I Am… Sasha Fierce“, but on sick leave), so please just hurry up and get on with the remaining singles and LET THE LIGHT EXIT GRACEFULLY.
P.S. Katy: please don’t get angry. We still kinda want the Prismatic World Tour here in Singapore.
You can (still) buy Katy’s album on iTunes here.
You can watch Katy’s music videos on her VEVO channel here.