Even though Prism shot to the top of the Billboard charts, is the Katy Perry brand still as attractive since it's Teenage Dream age 3 years ago?
With the release of Roar, one can safely say it's a huge bet that Prism will definitely be roaring with an anthemic vision, of such attributes that made Teenage Dream and her sophomore album One of the Boys such mix-in and humongous. However over-the-top it may sound, Prism doesn't really deliver on a level that it's predecessor album has set so high, with Dark Horse and Walking On Air, the promotional singles, not really alarming nor major, leaving the audience to wonder if Katy might have waned in her efforts since 2010. With Dr Luke, that idea may vanish but still could be hurdled over at any point while the record is still playing. I'll first pick out some of my favourites.
Undoubtedly, Roar is one of the best songs and the best single, apart from Unconditionally that was released last few days ago. That too is a strong single, but then again raises the question, are these singles typical Katy Perry singles? Roar yes, but Unconditionally feels lacking in the lyrics department, sometimes only showing off Katy's vocal prowess but doesn't do a whole lot to balance the other. Still, it is a great song apart from the rest of the album and serves as a remembrance to Teenage Dream, the album which spawned 6 top ten singles, with only The One That Got Away (truly the one and only) that didn't make it to the peak of the Hot 100. One that puts on the vibe is Birthday, which seems to replicate that setting. It is one of the better songs no doubt, being pop and almost sounds like an 80's dance party is going on. This Is How We Do is probably the intersection in which I love and hate at the same time. It's anthemic, raw, but Katy's pre-chorus talk does take the whole experience out of it. However, the chorus is vocally extensive, but offering nothing much as well. I could not say the least for This Moment, almost feeling like a Queen melody at the start (Radio Ga Ga) is okay as well, nothing too surprising nor amazing. Lastly, By The Grace of God rounds it all off, the piano ballad piece really emotionally haunting and probably the best song on the album apart from Roar.
And then the problems start rolling in. Dr Luke has made some fantastic, at times haunting melodies that have served to be the pinnacle of Katy's tracks. Take a look at Last Friday Night or even Firework. There is none of that on this album. Well, maybe a couple. Let's talk about the promotional singles. Dark Horse featuring Juicy J, which is the only feature and a rapper albeit, almost identical to the former lead single, California Gurls featuring Snoop Dogg. One thing is certain though, Juicy J doesn't have a bigger presence then Snoop, and the technicality that serves it's purpose is that Juicy J brings nothing to the table other than his in-fluid verses that doesn't help the song, and certainly harms the track more than it should have. Walking On Air feels almost out of place, and it feels as if Katy's trying to replicate what is a dance 80's record that Prism can't eventually seep in fully. Legendary Lovers feels as if Dr Luke is experimenting an indie harmony that doesn't offer any vibe and not even rewarding at all, and the chorus on it just isn't involving enough. The lyrics are capable enough, but it feels like both a mix of Dark Horse and Walking On Air, and that is different. Then comes Love Me, an empty filler and while people may say it is in the same veins as Unconditionally, I don't think so. The latter is indefinitely better than the former, and also containing more meaningful depth and emotion. The rest of the album though, is really just all over the place. Ghost, Double Rainbow and International Smile are in the middle of the pack, nothing really sensational and just there for, whatever reason it may be. Ghost speaks about Russel Brand; Double Rainbow of hope; and International Smile is just, international smile.
6.5/10: Prism is just, well, another record. Yes, it contains powerful vocals and anthemic song structures that may heighten the scale, but the filler songs and the sometimes awkward placement just isn't right. While Teenage Dream is a step above the rest, Prism is a step back.
Benny Ong: Just your regular guy who likes soccer more than most people, and also a little downtime is pretty nice.