Rant and Rave: Prism

Image courtesy of Capitol

After four months of self-reflecting and a failed marriage, fans should not expect the same fluffy and cunning style like in Teenage Dream from the 28-year old pop icon. Instead, Katy Perry gives us a rather lukewarm and messy spectrum of songs but with still some standouts here and there (but not as much as Teenage Dream).

Prism opens with Roar, the first released and mid-tempo single from the album that has, since its release on August, found itself played not only in hundreds of  Top 40 hits programs and in teens’ playlists, but also during Pacquaio’s entrance in the Pacquiao vs. Rios fight (#BangonPilipinas). Roar made fans giddy for the Perry’s fourth album, but it is a shame that Prism didn’t live up to Roar’s growl.

Next is Legendary Lovers, a tribal and bhangra-based song about Katy’s blooming lotus and the eternal passion of a couple’s love. Its instrumentals (catchy banging of drums and international music elements) are the only thing that makes this track memorable. Sorry, Katy’s lotus. Its tribal theme can make one think of Roar’s music video that makes an impression of consistency which, sadly, the album lacks.

Birthday is something you can actually put in Teenage Dream. It’s “fluffiness” and humor are somewhat familiar with California Girls, all with lines like “So let me get you in your birthday suit / It’s time to bring out the big balloons.”

All the bounce by Birthday is stopped by Walking On Air which is a reminiscent to 80’s disco songs. You can imagine Marian Rivera or Jessy Mendiola dancing to it on TV.

Unconditionally is the first ballad in the album and the real tearjerker of the record, which makes it questionable that they put it in the middle of disco and a femme fatale/hip-hop songs. Perry’s careful voice control in the verses balances out and makes the powerful chorus even more powerful. It is about the longing of receiving and giving unconditional love (John Mayer better listen to this.)

You can see Perry experimenting in Dark Horse featuring Three 6 Mafia member Juicy J. Perry doesn’t rap (which is something a lot would probably like to hear), but she maintains to be herself just like in E.T. with Kanye.

This Is How We Do, a milder version of a Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.), is really, really catchy and has the best beat in the record to follow your steps to when walking in campus and you’re not late for class. That is all.

International Smile, just like Birthday, is a song you’d think was from Teenage Dream, which isn’t really bad. International Smile is one of Prism’s light tracks and it can even be sang in international tours or pageants. Also, that “To Rio!” line was just adorable.

Ghost and Love Me are two mid-tempo 80s synth pop songs after that sound alike and are both okay. In Ghost, our hostess sings about how she has moved on from a lover, while Love Me is all about saying to a lover to accept you for who you are. Ghost may actually be about Russel Brand and Love Me about John Mayer, just saying.

This Moment is one of the most radio-friendly songs (the other It Takes Two) in the second half and might possibly be a hit single. This Moment is a great song about seizing the present in a place where the future is uncertain and the past unimportant.

After This Moment, the calmness of Double Rainbow is quite soothing and the two actually compliment each other, but as a single, one would expect more bang from Perry.

By The Grace of God and Spiritual is yet another pair that compliments each other but not really  in a good way. The former is the most personal song in the album where Perry sings about picking herself back up from a personal tragedy (her failed marriage, probably) with the help of her sister and God’s grace. In Spiritual, though, the singer announces that she has a new god to pray to whose body is a wonderland. Sidenote: John Mayer co-wrote this song, what a vain guy.

By this time, the theme of moving on is already so scratched up.

It Takes Two takes us to the mistakes Perry has probably realized when she was with Russel Brand. It is the last and second radio-friendly song of the second half and should have been the last song of the album because Choose Your Battles does not stand out at all.

Prism is the perfect album to listen to when you want to move one from a breakup or a failed marriage with a British comedian. Although, the album offers a variety of borrowed music styles and is a very personal album for Perry, it all appeared so unoriginal, inconsistent and redundant all with its repeating themes on moving on, having moved on, and “Hey-I-have-a-new-guy” in songs. The personal growth is appreciated, but it just wasn’t enough to give that “WOW” factor from Teenage Dream that we all expected. Perry has raised the bar for pop music in the past, but it feels like in Prism, she chose to mellow and settle down with what is safe.

Rating: 2.5/4.0
Arielle Poblete

By Arielle Poblete

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