I like Katy Perry, but I feel like most of the time it’s against my better judgement. She seems to be a bit of a Jack-of-all-trades, master-of-fuck-all doesn’t she? She tries to be as crazy as Gaga – fails, tries to be a sexy and shocking as Rihanna – fails, tries to be all “LOOOLZ I GOTZ DRUNK” like Ke$ha – fails. But by fuck can she write a catchy tune.
By this point, all seven singles should be entirely well known to us all. If you’ve turned on Capital FM in the last two years then inevitably you will have been bombarded with one of her songs, mainly due to just how freakin’ radio-friendly they are. “California Girls” is basically a less drunk, more slutty version of Tik Tok, “Teenage Dream” is harmless enough but not exactly ground-breaking, “Firework” is brilliant but has been overplayed like nothing else before it or since, “E.T.” is my personal favourite, even if it is does suffer from some fairly significant similarities to t.A.T.u.’s creator-of-a-thousand-lesbians “All The Things She Said”, “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” is Katy trying her hand at Drunk!pop and doing a good, if soulless, go at it (as well as, in the process, creating the Television and That Music Video of 2011), “The One That Got Away” is amaze and one of the few times that Katy sounds like she really gives a shit, and current number one “Part of Me” is Dr Luke production by the numbers. So similar to Jessie J’s Domino, I don’t know how he has the cheek to show his face in public.
Frankly, it’s no surprise that the original album spawned 6 singles, since conceivably any one of the other tracks could have been released, as Katy’s knack for writing insanely accessable songs runs through each and every one. She’s light and fluffy on “Hummingbird Heartbeat”, emotional on “Not Like the Movies”, “Pearl” is a lot darker than most of the album, the story of a girl trapped in an abusive relationship and “Circle the Drain” tells of someone unwilling to stick with her current beau unless he gets his act together (frankly, it’s bizarre that this one was written over two years ago, before all the troubles, because if you told me it was about Russell Brand, I’d totally believe you).
But all that good work is almost undone by “Peacock”. I assume this was her attempt at an “If You Seek Amy” style innuendo-laced romp. Accept that there is no double entendre. Just a single one. All the lyrics in the verses are going on about “seeing what you’ve got underneath” blah blah blah before the chorus unleashes: “Let me see your peacock cock cock, your peacock”. At no point does she even vaguely pretend that a peacock or vanity or anything like that comes into it. It’s the most moronic song I’ve ever heard, and is only one step above three minutes of Katy just yelling “Oi mate! Show us your knob!” over and over again.
This special edition doesn’t add a huge amount. As well as the aforementioned “Part of Me”, two more brand new tracks are added, “Wide Awake” and “Dressin’ Up”. The former is actually a really pretty track, surprisingly so, considering the artist. The latter is another few minutes in how to be melodically stupid whilst trying to be saucy, but never mind you can’t have everything.
Every other “new” track is fairly pointless. There’s an acoustic version of “The One That Got Away”, but since I actually really like the production of the original, this is meh. A guitar does not a better song make. The there’s the almost aggressively pointless remixes of E.T. and Last Friday Night featuring Kanye and Missy Elliott. Basically, they were only created in a desperate attempt for Katy to have 5 number ones off the same album (which depressingly worked) and should not be encouraged. There’s a megamix of the first 6 singles too, which I think I only like because it’s a megamix (I do love me a megamix). Most of the segues are rubbish, apart from the Last Friday Night/E.T. one.
I think my main problem with Katy is how artificial everything seems (INSERT BOOB JOKE HERE). I’ve never felt like she’s really meant any of her songs, she’s just doing everything and anything she can to gain more popularity, attention and money. Thus, despite actually really liking the majority of the songs on the album, I find myself finding the whole thing rather soulless.
So, should you buy it? Well, if you have the original, no way. Download “Part of Me”, “Wide Awake” and maybe the megamix and leave it there. If you haven’t, there are a lot worse albums to spend your money on, despite what elitist music snobs would have you think. But, and it pains me to say this, but when those sort of dickheads complain about “manufactured, soulless pop”, in this case I can’t help but think they might have a point. Sad face.
I still like it though. Suck it, you pretentious indie knob-jockeys.
BEST 3 SONGS: “E.T.”, “Firework”, “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)”