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Katy Perry Prism
(Capitol)

I have a love/hate relationship with Katy Perry. I mean, I thought “Fireworks” was super cheesy, but I caught myself attempting to sing it loudly at an event two years back. That’s how pop music grabs you – that, or the fact that you simply can’t escape that song when you step into the car or anywhere you go. I’m putting it out there that I’m a fan of “California Gurls” with Snoop Dogg and “Teenage Dream” (the non-Glee version). Put aside the fact that she doesn’t have the best vocals in the world – I mean, it is no longer the pop generation of vocals and it’s more about how fun the songs are and the gimmicks that goes along with it, so basically Katy Perry is doing something right.

For Katy Perry’s fourth studio album Prism, she roped in pop meisters Dr. Luke, Cirkut, Max Martin, Stargate and Benny Blanco to serve up some delicious tunes that could possibly be one of the most exciting pop album releases of the year. I mean, it is Katy Perry. There were so much hype surrounding the release of the “Roar” during pre-MTV Video Music Awards this year, but I felt it was didn’t live up to the expectations – well, it was so more about it not being a surprise coming from Katy Perry or in other word predictable. It’s a Katy Perry formula that I’m still trying to get used to that comes with such an animated music video, which says a lot about her personality as a music artist.

I may not like “Roar”, but it has such a clever hook which she is widely known for. Happy-go-lucky tunes “Birthday”, “This Is How We Do” or “International Smile” echoes the success of “Teenage Dream” and “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)”, which will do very well on radio for her sweet-as-candy audience. She even went a little Europop on us with “Walking On Air”, which is pretty questionable after watching her perform the song at Saturday Night Live – is pop music getting too artsy fartsy for me?

There are also those spiritual tracks like, “Unconditionally”, “Double Rainbow”, “By The Grace of God” and “Spiritual” (duh) that Katy Perry is now famous for to show that she is more than just catchy tunes or having a goofy characters. She grabs her popularity to send out messages to her younger fans that because nothing is stronger than the power of music. Not big fans of these ballads, but it does the trick to show that she’s a grown woman.

Katy Perry sure knows how to make pop music and that’s a fact. The thing with Katy Perry music is that she cleverly dish out anthems like “Roar” despite the Tarzan-like video, which was pretty predictable with a song title like that. The 28-year old international star surprised me with her collaboration with rapper Juicy J on “Dark Horse” and that trap-inspired vibe that I probably enjoy too much. This shouldn’t come out as a surprised as we have already seen other hip-hop acts like Snoop Dogg, Kanye West and Missy Elliott jump on her songs. At first listen, I wasn’t too sure if it’s okay to hear Katy Perry doing trap, but it works with her pop transitions with other music elements. Oh, the amount of remixes that will come along with it.

Prism may seem to lack the firey punches that she showcased on her earlier singles like “I Kissed A Girl” or “Hot n Cold”, but it’s probably her progression to move to a little softer and anthemic pastures. Katy Perry is a character and it’s an infectious one for sure. At the end of the day you can’t hate on her because it is not easy singing Katy Perry songs and you know it. Grab Prism if you think you need that pop in your life.

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