Katy Perry has become quite the icon over her last few album releases. Breaking into the world of mainstream pop with the infectious I Kissed A Girl back in 2008 after a stint as a Christian rock singer, she has gone from strength to strength and in the process, made a fan out of me, someone who wasn’t entirely convinced with her debut single. I have however begun to appreciate the singer much more over time and was blown away by her last release, Teenage Dream. My appreciation for Perry has escalated even more so with the release of the American starlets brand new studio effort, Prism, her 4th studio album and 3rd in commercial pop.
From the first time I heard Prism’s lead single, Roar, I counted myself a fully-fledged fan. The track is by far one of the catchiest Katy Perry hits released. Though she may not admit it is directly referencing the turbulent break-up period with her former hubby Russell Brand, the theme of the track has obviously been written with something personally defeating in mind but with an optimistic edge. The lyrics are defiant and encouraging for those going through stormy moments in life and its bouncy rhythm adds to the tracks anthemic vibe perfectly.
The following Legendary Lovers is another of the records highlights, beginning with an Indian scented instrumentation and some soothing synths; Katy’s vocals contrasting as they start out soft and slow before the bridges quickly delivered structure propels the number along. The chorus is stunning with Katy’s twang drenched tones dousing the number with a southern flavour and is easily a defining ballad within in her expanding catalogue.
Birthday could have easily been a cut from Teenage Dream with its spangly instrumentation and uplifting disco vibe while Walking On Air has an energetic 90’s feel to it; a sparkly pop track with elements of RnB running throughout its bouncy delivery.
Unconditionally is the tracks latest singe cut and is a beautifully poignant inclusion on Prism that sits within the track-listing as its token power ballad. It’s a sentimental staple to Prism which carries a powerful statement of love over everything else – just what you look for in a ballad. Katy’s vocals on this track are also a focal point here as they soar over a gorgeous backdrop of backing vocals and a swaying instrumentation.
The highlights aren’t just crammed into the opening of Prism as is evident with This Moment nearing the end of the record. The Queen-esque guitar work on the track runs like a vein beneath the singers rich vocals providing the instrumental hook within the track while the mid-tempo rhythm gets your toes tapping and singing along with Perry as she declares “All we have is this moment, tomorrows unspoken / yesterday is history so why don’t you be here with me”.
Closing the record, Choose Your Battles is another encouraging anthem; Katy announcing “I’m not fighting anymore”, showcasing Katy’s strength within the tracks lyrics. A pulsating, electric swirl appears occasionally within the opening of the song, sealing the record with a memorable gem.
Prism is an incredibly weighty release for Katy – 16 tracks is a generous offering, especially when they are delivered to the standard heard within the record and there is not one filler to be found here. A lot has happened in Katy’s life during and before the creation of Prism and many of those experiences are captured within these songs – some blatant and others subtle – but like the lead single, each of the 16 inclusions found on Prism tell a story of strength and optimism. From the opening beats of Roar through to the sweet sentiment of Unconditionally, there is something for everyone on Prism.
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::: RenownedForSound.com’s Editor and Founder –
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