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REVIEW: Katy Perry – 'Prism'

Huge amounts of emotion and reality with just a handful of pop gems

Katy Perry made her return to the charts earlier this year when she released ‘Roar’ as it soared to number one in multiple countries around the world. After a divorce from Russell Brand and a very on and off relationship with John Mayer, Katy sure has a lot to write about.

'Prism' is the third studio album from one of pop’s most loved artists, but has the heartbreak driven her to lose her usual fun, quirky sound?

Roar

Without question one of the best and most loved songs of 2013. She made a return with a great pop song that had a slightly cringey but ideal video to match. 'Roar' is fun, has strength and shows confidence; it was the perfect song to launch her new album.

Katy Perry's new album 'Prism' is out now (Katy Perry/Twitter)

Legendary Lovers

‘Legendary Lovers’ has an Indian sound with a bhangra beat coming through the entire song which adds to the fact it’s definitely the most spiritual track on the album. Not a sound you would expect to hear on a pop album but it works. There’s mention of scriptures, karma and mantras throughout making the song one that digs deep into Katy Perry’s spiritual ideas.

Birthday

Did not expect to hear a seventies disco tune on a Katy Perry album but she seems to be able to tackle a lot of different genres whilst keeping it pop. She talks about being someone’s birthday gift and it is almost certain most men in the world would be okay with this. Katy Perry has the ability to be seductive and alluring without being distasteful, which is something other female stars could learn from.

Walking On Air

So we are four tracks in and already onto another genre of music. This time Katy is trying her hand at some nineties dance vibes making ‘Walking On Air’ the club song of the record. Even though it’s an upbeat, fun number, the lyrics are very lovey dovey, talking about love being ‘pure paradise’ and ‘heaven being jealous’ of their love. Dance meets romance, interesting.

Unconditionally

Now it’s time for Katy to really showcase her flawless vocals, you can never deny that she has a great range but this song is one of a few that really exposes her voice. It’s an emotional song about loving every part of someone, she has ‘no fear now’ and the ‘I love you’ that she sings sounds real and believable.

Dark Horse Ft Juicy J

Even though it is opened with the line ‘let’s rave’ the song is actually pretty mellow. Now we could say this is the ‘urban’ track of Prism, but does it work? We’re not so sure. Juicy J’s rap is lyrically pretty simple and the song in general isn’t mind blowing.

This Is How We Do

Continuing on with the slight ‘urban’ vibes, this song is literally just about partying and having a good time. Day drinking, maroon lips and big hoops are just a few of the things Katy references as she lets loose on this track to have fun. The best line has to be, ‘This goes out to ladies at breakfast in last night’s dress.’

International Smile

With a Perry pop beat we all know and love comes a song about a popstar who travels the world. One who leaves a trail of stardust and possesses an international smile. It is about herself? Or another young starlet who has wondered into the industry?

Ghost

If we are going to jump to a conclusion, this is the divorce song. The tempo slows right down and there’s a real essence of realism in the lyrics. They used to be best friends, there’s a pillow where his head should be. The most telling clue is when she references the promise of forever, and what’s supposed forever? Marriage, of course.

Love Me

Now it seems like we have hit the sad section of 'Prism.' This doesn’t have a ballad sound but it’s far from upbeat. Lost identity and not changing for anyone are the running themes in ‘Love Me’ so this is the song where she is picking up the pieces from ‘Ghost’ and attempting to move on.

This Moment

Even though it’s another melancholic number, there is an eighties snare drum beat throughout which proves again that Katy is great at mixing genres and sounds into pop music. Telling people to live for the moment is a great message but this song is a little slow and frankly a little dull. The pace needs to pick up stat or this album is at risk of becoming boring.

Double Rainbow

Yet another slow starter about the love and happiness she has finally found. It is great to know that Katy Perry is in love but it would be great if she could tell us in a more upbeat and fun fashion...

By The Grace Of God

It would be unfair to criticise this track for being another slow one as it is obviously about a very personal struggle she has overcome. She personally thanks her sister for help and talks of picking herself back up. It’s a rather depressing subject matter but the emotion is raw and she really sings her heart out.

Spiritual

The first few seconds sounded very similar to that of the Made In Chelsea theme tune which was unexpected. Another serious subject matter is addressed as ‘Spiritual’ is a song heavily based on religion. Perry is known to be from a strongly religious family so the talk of being healed and angels is sort of to be expected but we are still lacking the KP pop that people love.

It Takes Two

Finally a slightly more positive song with a single guitar on the intro and the entire song. ‘It Takes Two’ has really simple and straight forward lyrics, which is something that is evident throughout the album as she isn’t hiding away from anything. It’s about having two sides to a break up, so maybe she is sticking up for her known on and off relationship with one John Mayer.

Choose Your Battles

Something a little different, military sounding drums which provoke an image of marching. She sounds angry and strong, she doesn’t want to fight anymore, so who is going to win the war?

Our Verdict?

The thought of 'Prism' was a very exciting one; 'Roar' set the bar very high but as sad as it is to say, Katy Perry has lost a bit of her sassiness in this record. The first seven or so tracks are great pop songs and it's great that she attacks several different genres without fear, however, the rest of the album is very slow.

It wouldn’t be fair to cast judgement on somebody for putting all their heartache and struggle on a table for the world to see and for this she should be admired. Katy Perry is lyrically strong and undeniably honest but it’s a shame we have lost the fun original pop that people loved her for in the first place although it's worth noting that her talent can never be doubted.

Katy Perry Leaves Camden's Roundhouse After iTunes Festival Performance

Katy Perry gets mobbed by fans when leaving the Roundhouse in Camden (Stuart Castle/WENN)

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