Katy Perry – Teenage Dream
Poor old Katy Perry. Just two years ago the wholesome looking girl-next-door was deemed a cutting-edge, transgressive pop princess just by suggesting she liked kissing girls. Now, post-Gaga, she has had to resort to donning whipped cream spewing bras, a host of coloured wigs and ever revealing outfits just to make a dent in today’s congested pop scene.
To be fair, though, she has stuck to her guns and not completely followed the edgy, almost avant-garde, pop of Gaga et al. Lead single, and international chart-straddler, ‘California Gurls’, was the perfect re-introduction to Perry’s world of cheeky, light-hearted pop that is more suggestive than full-on subversive. While ‘California Gurls’ reinforced Katy Perry’s image as the top tongue-in-cheek pop star, musically it heralded a progression from the soft rock guitar templates of her debut to more polished disco beats.
While this does offer a new dimension to Katy Perry’s sound, the over-reliance on glossy Eurobeats leaves Teenage Dream sounding a bit samey. Most of the songs follow the same pattern of a gentle but forgettable introductory verse opening up into a catchy chorus that goes on to dominate the rest of the track. This is fine at first, ‘Teenage Dream’, ‘Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F)’ and ‘California Gurls’ all sound fresh and interesting enough. But as the album wears on, patience wears thin and you find yourself hoping for something a little bit different to break the monotony.
‘Peacock’, with its ‘Hey Mickey!’ type drums, and ‘Circle The Drain’s’ 80’s power pop manage to stand out from the crowd. But elsewhere Teenage Dream suffers from a chronic lack of identity. Which is a shame as Perry certainly seems to be a pop star with something to say.
Buy Teenage Dream