Sound & Color
Katy Perry, the frivolous, hard-partying pop starlet, has an unfortunate Achilles heel – she wants to be taken seriously.
This quest for gravitas is all over Prism, her fourth album and the follow-up to 2010's gazillion-selling Teenage Dream, from tracks called Spiritual and By The Grace Of God to Perry's claim in interviews that it is inspired by the literary works of German philosopher and New Age guru Eckhart Toile.
These claims might have somewhat more credence were it not for the fact that Prism finds Perry primarily concerned with settling romantic scores and yapping about partying and her stellar sex life over fizzing, hedonistic house-pop beats. In other words: KP business as usual. Fun? Yep. A decent pop album? Yep. Spiritual? Umm…
As is the way, the album was largely assembled in LA by pop's A-team of crack Scandinavian songwriters and producers, which means it doesn't lack for chart-friendly, floor-filling efficiency. The only notes of vulnerability are introduced by Perry's clunky but heartfelt lyrics: Ghost bids a sorry adieu to her ex-husband, Russell Brand, who apparently ended their union in a distinctly un-gallant manner: "You sent a text – it's like the wind changed your mind."
Luckily, Perry is now deliriously happy with John Mayer, a fact she is desperate for us (and Brand) to be aware of. She hymns her love for him on This Moment, Love Me and the mawkish Double Rainbow, possibly in denial about the fact that other celebrity notches on Mayer's bedpost include Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Aniston and Taylor Swift.