At 27, Katy Perry learnt that she’d tied with the late King of Pop’s record of churning 5 Billboard Hot 100 #1 singles from an album. Michael Jackson may have been first, but he was also older, at 29, when he achieved it.

It would be an understatement to say that expectations are phenomenal for PRISM, Perry’s latest album produced with the same crew responsible for Teenage Dream‘s incredible feat – co-executive producers Dr. Luke, Max Martin, and co-writer Bonnie McKee.

The Californian singer/songwriter resumed her chart reign in August, when her lead single “Roar’” from the album sold 557,000 copies digitally in the first week, and has topped the Billboard Hot 100 charts for 2 consecutive weeks.

The album, coming 3 years after Teenage Dream, undoubtedly presents a side of Perry that’s more mature and spiritual, which is hardly a surprising outcome following the end of her 14-month marriage to Russell Brand in December 2012.

This is particularly evident in “By The Grace of God”, as she reflects almost penitently in the chorus, “I put one foot in front of the other / And looked in the mirror / And decided to stay / Wasn’t gonna let love take me out of the way”.


In a 92.3 NOW interview from August, Perry shared, “For a while, when I was about to start the record back in November [and] when I was writing it, I was kind of in a dark place in my life.”

‘”But I transitioned … I let a lot of light in. It served me well, taught me great lessons, I feel like I’ve matured and grown and I can take on the next era of who I’m turning out to be.”

Too bad the significance of the stories in her songs was undermined by the generic (and sometimes tasteless) lyrics. Don’t get us wrong – it’s great that Perry has employed poetic devices in her songs, but with lyrics like “Unconditional / Unconditionally / I will love you / Unconditionally” and “Yeah our chemistry was more than science / It was deafening, loud like lightning” are cliché and hard to stomach for a chronic cynic.

In her defense, there were definitely attempts by Perry to experiment with different sounds. Klas Åhlund-assisted track “Walking On Air” was unmistakably 90s eurodance, infused with influences of deep house.

“Legendary Lovers” on the other hand, seemed to have been inspired by world music, most blatant in the bridge as the tabla [percussion instrument used in Hindustani classical music] cut was coupled with Perry rhythmically doing a tribal-like chant. However, the tracks ultimately offer no innovation nor do they highlight Perry’s edge.

There were also tracks that sounded a little too reminiscent of past hits. “Birthday” reminded UrbanWire of “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F)” from Teenage Dream, and “International Smile” could easily have been a reworked Dr. Luke formula to those familiar to him like Jessie J’s “Domino” as well as Marina and the Diamonds’ “How To Be A Heartbreaker”.

In all, while PRISM isn’t proof that Perry is a 1-album wonder, there was definitely an expectation for Perry to progress sound-wise, and the entertainer didn’t manage to fully deliver.

Artist: Katy Perry
Album Title: PRISM
Rating: 3.8/5
Language: English
Genre: Pop
Record Label: Capitol Records/Universal Music
Release Date: Oct 22

Track List
1. Roar
2. Legendary Lovers
3. Birthday
4. Walking On Air
5. Unconditionally
6. Dark Horse
7. This Is How We Do
8. International Smile
9. Ghost
10. Love Me
11. This Moment
12. Double Rainbow