After listening to the entirety of "Prism," Katy Perry's third studio album, it is apparent why "Roar" was the first single off of this album.
Past that song, everything is just boring.
Perry's first album held "I Kissed a Girl" and "Ur So Gay," which presented her as a sassy, occasionally controversial songwriter who not only intrigued quirky, hipster girls but also captured pop radio as well. Coming out of nowhere, Perry produced songs that made parents cover their children's ears while humming along simultaneously.
After this breakout success, "Teenage Dream" solidified her as a pop queen. On that album, the songs were conventional but so catchy that no one complained. In 2010, "Teenage Dream" peaked as a summer anthem, leaving every guy wanting a few "California Gurls."
Unfortunately, "Prism" contains neither of these attributes. Instead, a confusing list of songs replaces hit singles.
"Roar" is misleading.
This song is the fun, catchy, girl empowerment anthem that fans expected. Similar to "Firework," the song is currently in iTunes's top 10 most-downloaded songs across the globe.
"I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire/Cause I am a champion, and you're gonna hear me roar," Perry crooned, followed by a chorus of "oh's."
Artists change. Often, they find a new, more appealing sound and switch their next album to reflect that change. Perry missed that.
After "Roar," a mash of songs reflecting an awkward mix of genres, that in no way mesh, fall one after another. The album's second song, "Legendary Lovers," is a strange mix of Miley Cyrus's "Wrecking Ball" and tribal chants.
The album never recovers from that point. There is disco. There is something resembling dubstep with a Jeffrey Dahmer reference. There is '80s pop.
Perry's lack of cohesion is frustrating, especially from such a gifted entertainer. Individually, the songs are not terrible. They represent mediocre, yet solid pop songs that will likely do well on the radio with proper marketing. Yet, as a whole, the album does not make sense.
However, several of the songs echo the sadness of a heartbroken teenager. In a way, the confusion of the album could be viewed as a journey for Perry following her divorce from comedian Russell Brand.
"I wasn't going to let love take me out," Perry sings in "By the Grace of God."
Unless she confirms this assertion, though, fans may be left with their own interpretations.
Regardless, Perry's latest album falls short of expectations for a pop superstar. Every artist has their slump, and Perry will, hopefully, recover.
Maybe, next time, try something a little less like a roar and more like a meow, Katy.