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Album review: Katy Perry roars through charts, ‘PRISM’ fails in comparison to past work

AR_KatyPerryMiley is wrecking. Gaga is applauding. Katy Perry is coming through the pop music ranks roaring.

“PRISM,” the teenage dreamer’s fourth studio album, was released Tuesday worldwide, three years after her last album, “Teenage Dream.”

The album starts with “Roar,” an empowering and rising-above-obstacles anthem. Perry sings about once being timid and quiet, but now is the exact opposite, evident in the song’s chorus, “I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire / ‘Cause I am a champion and you’re going to hear me roar.” The song’s lyrics are accompanied by peppy, upbeat music, complimenting Perry’s strong and emotional vocals.

A number of tracks on the album used synthesized piano chords, reminiscent of music from the ‘80s and ‘90s. “Walking On Air,” the fourth track on the album, is an example of this. When the song starts, Perry sounds much like the female vocalist in the song “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” by C+C Music Factory. The music is fast-paced and fits in with the dance melodies of the ‘90s, such as Madonna’s “Vogue” and “What Is Love?” by Haddaway.

“Dark Horse,” the album’s sixth track, seems displaced from the music and narratives of the rest of the album. While the majority of the tracks deal with love and the loss of it, “Dark Horse” reads out as the signs of an over-obsessive partner in a relationship, which can be heard in lyrics such as “Make me your Aphrodite / Make me your one and only / Don’t make me your enemy” and “Are you ready for, ready for / A perfect storm, perfect storm / Cause once you’re mine, once you’re mine / There’s no going back.”

The music for “Dark Horse” sounds more like a beat used in a rap song with its heavy emphasis on bass, setting itself apart from the other songs’ lighter melodies. Rapper Juicy J raps on the track, which is fitting to the song’s melody, but the rap itself is grotesque and lewd with lyrics such as “She eat your heart out / Like Jeffrey Dahmer” and “She can be my Sleeping Beauty/ I’m gon’ put her in a coma.”

Perry tried something new with her music in this album that separates it from the rest — the music has more of a dance feel than Perry’s past work. However, the songs that make up the album don’t hold a candle to the pop sensation’s hits that came from songs like “Teenage Dream” and “Firework” back in 2010.

Grade: C

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