Category: Katy Perry

Katy Perry – Teenage Dream

ARTIST: Katy Perry                    220px-Teenage_Dream_album_cover

TITLE:  Teenage Dream

YEAR RELEASED: 2010

CHART ACTION: #1 US, #1 UK

SINGLES: California Gurls (#1 US, #1 UK), Teenage Dream (#1 US, #2 UK), Firework (#1 US, #3 UK), E. T. (#1 US, #3 UK), Last Friday Night (#1 US, #9 UK), The One That Got Away (#3 US, #18 UK

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: If something else got on the radio, you tell me.

LINEUP: Katy Perry and I count 17 others appearing on it, including Snoop and Kanye

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Big McLarge Huge record that’s basically pop confections. Nothing filling for sure, but many songs are sweet.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: There may be a few people on planet Earth that hasn’t heard some of these tracks. Let me summarize: eight producers collaborate with Perry on a 12-song record (the regular version) that took over radio and pop culture in 2010. The songs all sound very polished, Perry’s vocals are improved (she’s not trying to sing right INTO your ears, but she’s not subtle), and there are hooks and hooks and more hooks.

It does sound artificial, but not overtly so. Perry’s vocals are double and triple tracked and maybe auto-tuned some, but she doesn’t sound fake or like a robot and for most of the up-tempo pop songs her style works well.

There are some turkeys on here, and she’s not really a ballad singer. She’s just better with fun pop songs, and hanging out with Snoop and singing memorable hooks that sound great on the radio. 220px-TheCompleteConfectionCover

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The singles off of this album spent 225 straight weeks on the Hot 100. Holy shit, Sherlock!

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, of course. In fact, there was a new release in 2012 (The Complete Confection) that had two more singles: “Part of Me” (#1 US, #1 UK) and “Wide Awake” (my personal fave of hers) (#2 US, #9 UK)

GRADE: B:  This owned the early 2010’s. The singles will be what people remember from this era.

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Katy Perry – One of the Boys

ARTIST: Katy Perry Katy_Perry_-_One_of_the_Boys
TITLE: One of the Boys
YEAR RELEASED: 2008
CHART ACTION: #9 US, #11 UK
SINGLES: I Kissed a Girl (#1 US, #1 UK), Hot n Cold (#3 US, #4 UK), Thinking of You (#29 US, #27 UK), Waking Up in Vegas (#9 US, #19 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Ur So Gay
LINEUP: Katy Perry and a shit ton of people. Wikipedia lists 48 people on the credits – either as musicians, A&R, composers, photographers, producers, artists. I mean….wow.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Twelve tracks, seven production teams, nine writing teams, four tracks Perry wrote on her own, five million copies, and it’s rather disposable.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: First off, this is pop music, so we’re not talking about something designed for uber-critical dissection. Yet, there needs to be some sincerity and meaningful performances even for the most candy-coated radio-friendly pop fodder.

Perry’s debut has a few songs like that, and you know a lot of them. However, Perry as a lyricist here is sometimes puerile, sometimes hateful (“Ur So Gay” is just nasty and loathsome – not funny at all), and mostly cliché ridden. I wasn’t expecting Elvis Costello, but some of these lyrics are really simple. As a vocalist, she has limitations here. It sounds like she’s trying to eject her lungs with each syllable. She’s not subtle. She’s breathy. I have a feeling that a lot of the vocals were recorded line by line (or close to it).

The production is radio friendly. There are different styles, but that seems to be more in line with grabbing the playlist brass ring than anything. It’s kind of disjointed (so many producers will do that to an album).

Yet, there’s something compelling about some of the songs. The best ones have an earworm quality that stick with you. To that end, this is a partial success. Choose your tracks wisely on this one.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Perry’s real name is Katy Hudson, and she released a gospel album under that name in 2001. Also, she had a couple of aborted albums and some of these tracks were destined for those records.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Lots of exclusive bonus tracks and foreign editions.

GRADE: C+: I can’t totally slag it since some of it is decent pop confections. But again, you need to choose wisely.