Album Review: Katy Perry Teenage Dream

By Jacqueline Smith

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Rating: 3/5
Verdict: Who knew music could smell so sweet?

Katy Perry is sprawled out naked, save some strategically-placed candy floss. And that is a pretty apt summation of the album really - attention-seeking and naughty, but still sickly sweet. It's retro-pink party pop, heavily doused in food colouring and laden with sexual innuendo. Actually, it's not so much innuendo when one states "let's go all the way tonight" and "last Friday night, we went streaking in the park, skinny dipping in the dark, then had a menage a trois", is it? Right, so it's unabashedly sexy then.

Yes, young girls will dance around to these songs in their bedrooms, singing into hairbrushes, but they will probably read as much into the lyrics of the raunchy Peacock as the silly opening to Firework which goes, "do you ever feel like a plastic bag?".

As the name of the title track suggests, Perry, now 25, is reliving those blissfully innocent days when she used to do just the same - pyjama parties with her girlfriends, and sneaking out the bedroom window, that sort of thing (let's just forget for a moment that in real life she is shacked up with Russell Brand, a self-confessed sexaholic).

And then it smells like a little girl's bedroom from the 90s - wafts of cotton candy from the scented album cover really do complement the music. Strawberry Shortcake dolls anyone?

It's possible that this is an outlet for Perry's nostalgia, but more likely that this is not a memoir at all, and just a collection of glittery pop songs she crafted to fit the cupcake-bra image that has been so successful thus far.

Anyway, it works. Loaded with four, quick-fire singles that are equally, if not more contagious than I Kissed a Girl, which earned her the heart of most of her fans, the album is a safe, crowd-pleasing, party starter.

Perry reveals her more brooding side when she drops her voice a few octaves for E.T and Who Am I Living For?, but otherwise keeps the dream in a happy place. If, in a few years' time, she loses her sweet tooth and goes through an image change, the sultry coo could work for her.

As with anything so densely sugar-coated, Teenage Dream is still something the average person should probably only take in small doses - excess consumption will either have you reaching for painkillers or bouncing off the wall. But chances are listeners who know all the words to the four singles will experience the latter effect. And like it.

- TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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