PRISM displays shift in Perry’s maturity

Nick Lopez

Katy Perry is ditching the blue hair and whipped-cream squirting bras to convey her personal life in PRISM, her new studio album.

Courtesy of Ryan McGinley
Courtesy of Ryan McGinley

The first single off PRISM, “Roar”, took Top 40 radio by storm when it was released in August. Although “Roar” lacks a bridge section and has little lyrical development, the song peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Its power ballad-inspired arrangement and simplistic hook clearly resonated with her fans.

The album, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, is very different from her last studio effort, Teenage Dream. Perry isn’t portraying fictional characters who resemble the life of young and rambunctious “California Gurls” anymore.

The tracks “Spiritual,” “Double Rainbow” and “By the Grace of God” delve into Perry’s religious life. Before she kissed a girl, Perry actually was a Christian singer-songwriter. These songs are a bit of a throwback to Perry’s early life, yet also serve to let the listeners know she is still faithful to her religion, which is unusual subject matter for a pop album. Perry glides between hushed falsetto and strong timbre in these songs, which showcases her vocal abilities.

Other highlights on the album include songs like ‘It Takes Two’ (which is only available on the PRISM Deluxe Edition), ‘Walking on Air,’ ‘Ghost’ and ‘Dark Horse,’ which features rapper and label mate Juicy J.  These four songs are all bound to become singles. The lyrics are clever, the melodies are infectiously catchy, and the music pulses with Perry’s signature synthesizer-heavy pop-rock style.

However, like most albums, PRISM has its weak spots. “This is How We Do” is a half-slurred, half-sung, electronic sounding mess, and comes across as lyrically lazy. “Love Me” and “International Smile” have little melodic development and should have been left off the album.

Perry is slated to go on tour to promote PRISM starting in 2014.