Perry keeps her pop dirty
In her new album, “Teenage Dream,” Katy Perry voices the standpoint of a teenager through songs of partying, inspiration and being in love — and her love is not always PG-rated.
Although her “new” sound of pop and electronica satisfies fans of her first CD “One of the Boys,” but her lyrics lack originality and uniqueness.
It’s a hard price to pay when an artist wants financial stability rather than musical individuality and growth.
Perry’s title song “Teenage Dream” vocalizes young love in a catchy upbeat jingle. It leads the album strongly as a summer hit, with all its sexual innuendoes laced into predictable lyrics.
The more disappointing songs are “Last Friday Night,” in which, similar to her 2008 hit, “Waking up in Vegas,” blacking out is ignorant bliss. It’s sing–able but not at all memorable. Once on the drunk innuendo is enough, Katie. You haven’t even gotten a DUI.
Fortunately, Perry has two songs that are a perfect collaboration of rock and electronica with decent vocals and lyrics.
In “Circle the Drain,” she bashes her relationship with ex Travie McCoy (former front–man of Gym Class Heroes) by condemning his drug addictions and his unwillingness to commit. It (like Perry’s good–girl–gone–bad persona) contains explicit language with a strong guitar riff that overpowers the rest of the pop album.
With “Who Am I Living For?” Perry pleads for guidance in a highly religious manner, which is surprising for her scandalous reputation, but not all too irrelevant, considering she was raised by minister parents.
Still, it is one of the best tracks on the album, running close to “Circle the Drain.”
On the other hand, every pop princess is allowed a few mindlessly fun songs with no musical value. On this album, those songs are “California Gurls” and “Peacock.”
In an unorthodox collaboration with the perpetually burnt-out Snoop Dogg, “California Gurls” led the summer with love towards the west coast, but fell far short of Grammy–worthy music. Although it is a mindless tune, it’s at least easy to sing along.
The song “Peacock” is very similar to Toni Basil’s “Mickey,” which can confuse the ears of the innocent.
Perry challenges the male subject to “let me see your peacock,” in a chanting, obnoxious way.
As one of the more witless songs of “Teenage Dream,” it still serves as a guilty pleasure.
The rest of the album includes the predictable ballad,
“Not Like the Movies,” in which Perry explains how a relationship should be like the movies, perfect and untouchable.
The piano melody is pleasing, but the grammar mistakes in the song are unbearable.
Both “Pearl” and “Firework” are inspirational to teenage girls with as the only songs where Perry shows her impressive vocal range.
And serving as the fluffy pop love song is “Hummingbird Heartbeat,” which has an 80’s rock feel that would make The Outfield proud.
As a whole, Teenage Dream is a good summer album, but does not compete with Perry’s first album, “One of the Boys,” in which she had the most songwriting power.
Perry is known to have a goofy, clever personality, but when others interfere with her creative process, her music suffers.
It is an interesting experiment to let the artist be the artist, no matter how mindless.

Things you never knew you wanted to know about this California Gurl:

• Her parents are both in freelance Christian ministry.
• She appears at the end of Gym Class Heroes’ “Cupid’s Chokehold” video.
• In her teenage years, Katy was a gospel singer. She released a gospel album at the age of sixteen under her birth name “Katy Hudson.”
• Her natural hair color is dirty blonde.
• Her cat’s name is Kitty Purry.
• Recent tweet: “Using blasphemy as entertainment is as cheap as a comedian telling a fart joke.” Allegedly, she was referring to Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro” video.
• Russell Brand (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “Get Him to the Greek”) and Katy Perry got engaged after four months of dating. He claims to have given up sex and drugs for her.
• She will be making her film debut as the voice of Smurfette in the Smurfs movie hitting the screen in spring 2011.

“Teenage Dream” video