Sunday 21 January 2018

Music: Katy Perry - Teenage Dream ***


Eamon Sweeney

Eamon Sweeney

After all the hoopla following her engagement to Russell Brand, it's timely that we should be reminded just why Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (aka Katy Perry) is famous in the first place.

While the opening title track is a little bit lame, Teenage Dream has plenty of thrills for discerning pop pickers.

First up is Friday Night with its irresistible chorus, "Last Friday night/We danced on table tops/Then we drank too many shots/ Think we kissed but I forgot." It concludes with the assertion that this Friday night "we'll do it all again". One to soundtrack a rip-roaring evening if you're planning to hit the tiles tonight.

Perry has the modern pop star persona down to a tee. She's outrageous, fun, flirty and, most importantly, a one-off.

California Gurls (sic) features that louche lounge lizard of rap Snoop Dogg, who appears to be popping up everywhere after nailing one of the best tracks on the Gorillaz album.

Despite all the in-your-face pop and slick production, Teenage Dream is far from a masterpiece, but far from a failure. It sounds a little bit auto-tuned and by the book for comfort, but the high fun quotient and Katy's charm means she gets away with not delivering a solid-gold pop classic.

Firework boasts some melodramatic strings that wouldn't sound out of place on a Coldplay album. Much better is Peacock, which treads the same glorious dumb pop genius of the equally infuriating and fantastic breakthrough single I Kissed a Girl.

Circle the Drain would be huge hit if it didn't have so much cursing in the chorus, but a cleaned up version could be amusing. The One That Got Away contains the lyric, "The summer after high school when we first met/ We make out in your Mustang to Radiohead."

It should certainly raise Thom Yorke's eyebrows at any rate, as you wouldn't normally consider Radiohead's oeuvre as perfect "make out" music.

Teenage Dream is a pleasing if far from perfect album. It should spawn enough radio hits to ensure that Katy isn't just known as the girl who finally tamed Russell Brand.

The Katy Perry brand is doing just fine by itself.

Burn it: Friday Night; Peacock; The One That Got Away

Irish Independent

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