The day had finally come.
I rushed to my local record store five minutes before it opened, drooling against the glass as they stocked the last one on the shelf.
When ol' Mr. Crenshaw—he’d owned the place as long as I could remember--finally opened the door, the bell jingled as I tore inside, going straight to the “P”s.
There she was, airbrushed makeup glowing amid pastel pink glory: Katy Perry - PRISM. I paid for it in paper money and change, walked out of the store and put it in my car stereo. It has cycled through about 80 times since I bought it.
Okay, that was all a lie. That was what would happen if this was 1998 and people bought CDs anymore. Real life is a lot less exciting. I had actually pre-ordered this album and just clicked “download” on Tuesday morning. The end.
Wasn't my first story so much better? I want to hear more about what it was like only being able to listen to one album without doing physical labor and having to carry around all your music in a glorified binder that weighed as much as you did.
Anyway, the fact that it was six-thousand times more easily accessible than the story above did not diminish my excitement for Katy Perry's new album to finally be released. I had already had the privilege of downloading "Roar," then "Walking on Air" and "Dark Horse," all of which I loved, so I didn't expect to be disappointed. I wasn't.
But I do have a lot of specific thoughts on the songs. (Please pick your jaw up off the floor. Oh wait, you're not shocked at all? Never mind.) So I thought I would share them with you, song by song.
To keep it brief, I have decided to limit myself to ONE SENTENCE per song. One. It may be a run-on sentence, but dang it, I will keep it to one. Because if I had my way we'd be here for days. Actually, just I would, because you would have stopped reading after minute five.
So without further ado I present to you the Laura McClellan 16-Sentence Amateur Review of Katy Perry's PRISM.
UPDATE: Stream the album while you read my descriptions here.
SONG NUMBER ONE: "Roar"* Easily one of the world's most satisfying pop songs, "Roar” makes you wonder where it has been your whole life but then realize you never could’ve pictured your life without it. Rating: A+++++
SONG NUMBER TWO: "Legendary Lovers" Despite the squirminess of the phrase “I feel my lotus bloom," which I find to be an entirely too-descriptive metaphor, this song is an enjoyable hip-hop-y, somehow march-like mid-tempo song which, like many others you will find on this album, is basically just about sex. Rating: B+
SONG NUMBER THREE: “Birthday” “Birthday” is a disco-y dance song with a perfect hook rounding out the chorus, to which you will probably find me dancing in the car, but not singing very loudly because several of the lyrics make me embarrassed. Rating: A
SONG NUMBER FOUR: “Walking on Air” Similar to the one preceding it, the super-catchy “Walking on Air” is a disco-y song about sex, adding to the list of songs I feel uncomfortable singing out loud, but it is infused with a little more hip-hop. Rating: A-
SONG NUMBER FIVE: “Unconditionally” Really all I can think about during this supposed-power-ballad is how it bothers me that she puts the emPHAsis on the wrong sylLABle on “Unconditional” about 800 times (she says un-con-di-TION-alllll”…no…if it doesn’t fit, rewrite the chorus). Rating: B
SONG NUMBER SIX: “Dark Horse” Admittedly very hip-hop for Katy Perry, “Dark Horse” is probably my favorite right now due to its building, unpredictable, belty chorus and, let’s be honest, super crunk beat (did I use that right?). Rating: A+
SONG NUMBER SEVEN: “This Is How We Do” Despite the fact that I can’t relate to anything this song is talking about (Breakfast in last night’s dress? Uh I’m still in my PJs I got for Christmas. Car still at the club valet on Tuesday? I won’t even pay for a valet at Chuy’s unless absolutely necessary), nor is it profound in any way, but I CAN’T HELP IT THIS SONG IS SO CATCHY AND IT WILL NEVER LEAVE MY BRAIN. Rating: A+
SONG NUMBER EIGHT: “International Smile” A delightful, repetitive electronic song, this track rhymes “Artist” with “star dust” which I appreciate, and features a vocoder more than once and I am not mad about it. Rating: A
SONG NUMBER NINE: “Ghost” If you ignore the fact that the first line of this song is “you sent a text” (NO KATY JUST NO), this song is an okay supposed-to-be-sentimental ballad, but it’s not the next “My Heart Will Go On” or anything. Rating: B-
SONG NUMBER TEN: “Love Me” Another slightly slower-paced quasi-ballad, this song has a lot more depth (love yourself in spite of insecurities and all that) and is a lot more compelling musically and lyrically than the others I’ve heard on the album so far, so people will probably identify with it. Rating: A-
SONG NUMBER ELEVEN: “This Moment” This one sounds a little bit like Devo did the production at first, and I’m pretty sure she actually wrote this cliche-filled quasi-ballad for Kelly Clarkson to sing, but hey, people like Kelly Clarkson, so you’ll probably still be on board. Rating: B+
SONG NUMBER TWELVE: “Double Rainbow” (OMG SHE WENT THERE) Another ballad, which is really hard to take seriously at first considering the name of the song, but it’s actually pretty great once you get over that, especially the melody in the pre-chorus and the Phil Collins drums. Rating: A
SONG NUMBER THIRTEEN: “By the Grace of God” I first heard (and loved) this song on her iTunes festival performance, and it is a fantastic, compelling, honest ballad with a perfect melody all the way through. (PLUS GOSPEL-Y BGVS YOU GUYS) Rating: A+
SONG NUMBER FOURTEEN: “Spiritual” (On the deluxe version) Super 80’s-fabulous, this is another disco-y song about sex (sensing a theme?), but I kind of think it’s got a weird vibe and it’s probably one of my least favorite songs on the album, mostly because I don’t think the chorus pays off at all. Rating: C+
SONG NUMBER FIFTEEN: “It Takes Two” (On the deluxe version) Katy is no slouch at writing a melody, you guys, and this one grabs you from the first line, keeping you with her throughout the rest of the song with its gospel influences and just plain catchiness. Rating: A
SONG NUMBER SIXTEEN: “Choose Your Battles” (On the deluxe version) This one doesn’t necessarily grab me in any particular way; it just kind of plays enjoyably in the background while you do something else. Rating: B-
Overall I obviously enjoy the album and you should go get it, but I’m going to stop talking now.**
What’s your favorite song so far? Alternatively, if you aren’t a fan, what’s your favorite album you’ve bought lately?
*Let it be known that I failed at this IMMEDIATELY. My first thoughts were: "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways." Which is ALREADY two sentences and I hadn't even said anything yet.
**Also I was not in any way compensated for this post or affiliated with Katy Perry, though it’s adorable that someone might even think that.