Following a three-year hiatus, Katy Perry is back with her third studio album “PRISM.” After the mega-popular “Teenage Dream,” this is Perry’s first album since divorcing ex-husband, Russell Brand.
Her divorce greatly influenced several songs on her new album and the theme of heartbreak is made extremely apparent on the tracks “Ghost” and “By the Grace of God.” Both have a slower tempo compared to other tracks on “PRISM” and with less instrumental, Perry’s voice is able to shine through.
“Ghost” is very reminiscent of her previous song “Wide Awake,” as she explains the flaws in her past relationship in retrospect. According to several interviews, Perry said Brand sent her a text message stating he wanted a divorce. This mirrors the open lines in “Ghost” when she says: “You sent a text/ It’s like the wind changed your mind.” The song is catchy and has a message that many people would relate to, even if the idea is a bit recycled.
“By the Grace of God” is by far the most intense and meaningful song. With only a piano to accompany her voice, Perry sheds the usual “bubblegum pop” sound and lets her emotions and vocals carry the heavy theme of the track. It is extremely raw and she reveals much about the state of mind she was in when recording; “Looked in the mirror and decided to stay/ Wasn’t gonna let love take me out that way.”
While these two songs show the struggles she went through and how she grew from those troubles, the rest of the songs fall a little flat. There isn’t necessarily one song that is totally horrible; quite the contrary. But the songs seem to be missing something.
Many have the same message from previous Perry songs. “Roar” and “Love Me” are basically “Firework” reworked into another two songs.
The messages, in all are important; be who you are no matter what.
With so much negativity in the world, it is nice to hear uplifting and encouraging songs, even if they sound like previous songs.
Another rather inspiring song is “This Moment,” where Perry urges listeners to embrace the present and live for now with lyrics like, “All we have is this moment/ Tomorrow’s unspoken/Yesterday is history/ So why don’t you be here with me?”
The trend of recycled work continues with “This is How We Do,” which is fairly reminiscent of “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F)” but not nearly as entertaining. “Walking On Air” is similar to “Hummingbird Heartbeat” except way more repetitive and not as interesting.
Two songs that stand out simply for their unique sound is “Birthday” and “Dark Horse (feat. Juicy J.).
“Birthday” has a distinct ‘70s disco vibe, while “Dark Horse” is more hip-hop. Both provide a nice break from her usual sound.
This is pretty standard Katy Perry – nothing revolutionary about it, but nothing necessarily bad about it either. Compared with her previous album, well – there really is no comparison.
“Teenage Dream” was delightfully pleasant and full of catchy pop songs that many people continue to listen to but still had those few edgy songs to make for a great balance. The singles on that album became anthems for summer and Friday nights.
However, “PRISM” falls flat. It doesn’t push the envelope, like many fans were hoping and the songs are far less catchy than other Perry songs.
There isn’t anything bad about the songs, but nothing remarkably good either. It’s more or less mediocre.
Given the choice between “PRISM” and “Teenage Dream,” the latter would win every time.