Escaping Katy Perry seems near impossible. She’s everywhere, from little sisters dancing and singing “I got the eye of the tiger, fighter, dancing through the fire!” from Perry’s newest hit single to every store, radio station and Barbie girl playing her songs. This leads to countless hours spent trying to dislodge the infectious hooks and melodies from one’s brain, resulting in headaches, ear bleeds and possibly stunted brain development.
Perry’s new album, “Prism,” indulges listeners with more of the aforementioned hooks, melodies and auto-tune than any album in my music collection. Not even the hook-heavy Coldplay-pop of Snow Patrol rids my brain of the uncomfortably catchy songs found on “Prism.” And that is a problem for the mental health of the listener.
The writing process for these songs seems to have been very simple: write a catchy chorus then throw in a verse or two between them for the sake of variety. Writing hooks seems to have taken priority over writing actual songs.
The 16-song album is filled with basically two types of songs: the slow, “emotional” make-out songs, like “Love Me,” a “ballad” about—you guessed it—forcing someone to love you, and the fast, dance-beat songs like “Walking on Air,” which literally repeats the title line over and over and over and over again….
Then there’s synth-led, uber-deep “ballad” “This Moment,” which contains some of the most cringe-worthy lyrics ever put to tape—perhap beaten only by the horrid lyrics plaguing every Nickelback song. Lines like “Yesterday is history, why won’t you be here with me” and “All we have is this moment” showcase the master poetry in the song.
The album is not helped by the extremely boring instrumentation: drums that simply keep the beat and synthesizers that repeat the same melody over and over again. There is literally nothing interesting going on here.
Perry also seems overly religious on this album, which might be a risky move for the queen of party Barbies. Some fans dreaming that “Teenage Dream” might be thrown off by her “maturity.” Although with her overly spiritual lyrics and—cough—tight skirts and push-up bras, she might attract the attention of lonely middle-aged men longing for the golden days of Creed.