ALBUM REVIEW: Teenage Dreams (Katy Perry)

22 Jul

If you’ve heard “One of the Boys”, Katy Perry’s debut album, then you’ve pretty much heard “Teenage Dreams”. The only difference is that the few witticisms present in “One of the Boys” – a more understated, flirty humour – are missing. With lyrics stuffed full of innuendos that lack any attempt at subtlety, Katy Perry’s shrill, autotuned voice is layered over generic electronic beats for song after song, all of which sound indistinctly similar. 

One positive comment to be made is that Katy Perry has song-writing credits on most of the tracks, showing that she at least has some participation in her album, but this really doesn’t appear to be anything much to be proud of. A look at Peacock‘s lyrics, for example, shows the already much criticised line; ‘Are you brave enough to let me see your peacock?/Don’t be a chicken, boy, stop acting like a bee-otch’. She then repeats peacock-cock-cock ad nauseum, beating the already tired joke to death – yes, she sounds like she’s referencing genitalia. Hilarious.

As evidenced on Peacock, Katy Perry is all about the persona of the sexual tease; hinting at vague allures but never quite getting to the pay off. This is all over “Teenage Dreams” but just comes off as kitsch and childish – Snoop Dogg’s part on California Gurls (and since when was ‘gurls’ an accepted spelling?) is clearly an attempt to be edgy, but just comes off as another missed shot – much like her reference to Radiohead in One That Got Away.

Some of the darker, more serious tracks appear to be more enjoyable, such as Circle the Drain and Who Am I Living For, but only in comparison to the headache-inducing noise of the earlier songs. The electronic beats repeat themselves track after track, the only difference being the childish lyrics that Perry half-raps, half-sings over the top – “Think I need a ginger ale/That was such an epic fail,” in particular being reminiscent of a fourteen year old’s attempt at posting poetry on their MySpace account.

If you enjoy Katy Perry, and what you know of her so far, then there’s very little doubt that you won’t enjoy this album as well. But overall, Katy has certainly shown her worth – and there’s very little of that, either.

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