Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Teenage Dream - Track by Track

At first glance it is extremely easy to dismiss Katy Perry as an artist. She's gimmicky, she's too poppy, she doesn't write about anything real. If you are a red blooded American male, you may take a second gander at her for her proclivities with the kissing of the girls. But if you walk away from this album based on a preconceived notion, you will be making a horrible mistake. What Katy has done is create an album that is pure to her vision of what pop should be and she reaches out to her demographic without failing them or her creative vision. To me, this album contains all the emotions most teenagers go through when dealing with life, love, loss and all the extraneous social constructs that add additional pressure to their everyday lives.

1. Teenage Dream
This song is an absolute winning way to start the album off. It's also the second single off the album. It's a dreamy lovesick song that invokes amazing images of everything you want a relationship to be. It takes you to a time in your relationship when everything is sexy and new and exciting and you have the entire world in front of you and there is no on standing in your way. The verses are dreamy and the chorus is full of heart flutters.


2. Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)
One of the things this album does extremely well is make you feel young. This song is an account of a drunken evening out with friends. If you are the kind of person that has had one of those Fridays where you woke up the next afternoon and wondered what the hell happened and where are my pants, this song will definitely put a smile on your face. The pictures painted are fun and bubbly and make you want to relive those days when there were no cares in the world.


3. California Gurls (feat. Snoop Dogg)
Someone told me that the 1990's Snoop would kick the shit out of 2010's Snoop. I totally disagree. This song got massive radio play and as such became an unstoppable monster of a single, but you still feel refreshed after each time you hear it. As far as the Doggie Dog, I think this song totally works for him. His rap against Katy's vocals is the perfect compliment. And she does melt my popcicle a bit.


4. Firework
This is Katy's version of hopeful writing. This is, "Your life doesn't suck as much as you think it does" song. It manages to do what she intends it to do for the most part, but it's no "Beautiful" by X-tina. I do feel uplifted by this song and I appreciate her effort.


5. Peacock
So right after she makes me feel good about myself, she tells me that she wants to see my "Peacock". The song is pretty straight forward as innuendos go. You absolutely have no issues determining what she wants. It's got a cheerleading vibe and it works. It gets your foot tapping and your mind racing. Here are part of the lyrics from the chorus:

Are you brave enough to let me see your peacock?
Don't be a chicken boy, stop acting like a beeotch
I'ma peace out if you don't give me the pay off
Come on baby let me see
what you're hiding underneath

I don't see any entendre there. I don't see any beating around the bush, as a matter of fact that bird is in the hand. And as blunt as the song is, it's not vulgar.


6. Circle The Drain
A little more social commentary from our girl and I don't mind it. This song is about a drug addiction and how it affects their relationship. It's like a PSA with a killer beat. There is just so much you can take. The chorus is awesome. I think this is probably the strongest writing on the album. This chorus blows me away:

You fall asleep during foreplay,
'Cause the pills you take, are more your forte.
I'm not sticking around to watch you go down.
Wanna be your lover, not your fucking' mother.
Can't be your saviour, I don't have the power.
I'm not gonna stay and watch you circle the drain,
Watch you circle the drain,
Watch you circle the drain.

I mean, wow. This is totally my favorite song on the album because I think on some level, it is kind of the responsibility of the artists to educate their demographic and she does it in this song and it comes off as not totally preachy.


7. The One That Got Away
If Teenage Dream is all dreamy and optimistic, this is the "what if" song. What if things don't work? What if you get your matching tattoo removed? What if you are the one that got away? It's a song that you have to hear to appreciate and but it doesn't take a lot to understand what she's asking.


8. E.T.
The guy that is so amazing, he can't be from this planet. He has super powers and is the greatest thing since sliced bread. And btw, I want you to abduct and probe me. Not my favorite song but I think it's a grower. It's got a great beat I think I can bug out to it. I'll be optimistic in my rating.


9. Who Am I Living For?
I mean, wow. I don't have words to explain this. How does one make the logical progression from talking about penis' and drunken nights out go to this. This is probably one of the heaviest songs by any artist I have read. I mean wow. This is a total departure from everything you ever thought about Ms. Perry and I have to give her every prop in my book for this one.


10. Pearl
Another amazing song. I mean I listen to these songs and think, "This is the same girl that wrote I Kissed A Girl". This song is about every regret anyone can have. There is so much potential and life in the songs protagonist but it's all stifled by the man in her life. It is a way uplifting song and I think it's amazing.


11. Hummingbird Heartbeat
Back to the fluttering and pitter pat of my heart when we fall in love. It's fun and poppy and I'm not offended by it, but the placement on the album could have probably been better. Following Pearl is a bad spot for it cause I just don't feel the same high I had after being uplifted.


12. Not Like The Movies
So what I've learned from this album is that as fun as the poppy, bubble gummy songs are - the girl has skills and I think that sometimes she should trust herself to deliver the goods. This song is another on the heavy side and I think it's the way the album should end. You'll know when it's right and don't ever sell yourself short on anything. Life isn't always like the movies but when it is...you'll know it.


There are some absolute high points in this album that should not be missed and I think that if you have sold her short in the past for being a gimmick, you need to give her a second chance.

Overall Album rating - 4.35

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