Beautiful New Baby But Disappointing Album For Katy Perry This Week
Updated: Sep 3, 2020
The week of August 23, 2020, will go down as one of the most memorable weeks in Katy Perry's life. On Thursday, Perry and her fiance Orlando Bloom announced the birth of their first daughter together, Daisy Dove Bloom via an Instagram post with Unicef.
A day after the announcement of her beautiful baby girl, Katy dropped her fifth studio album, SMILE. Let's just say it was by far a lesser accomplishment.
SMILE is a twelve-track album. For a Grammy award-winning artist this just seems lazy. SMILE is Katy's first studio album since 2017. She had three and a half years to work on this and if the album was seven minutes shorter it would have been considered an EP.
Taylor Swift has released three albums in three different genres between Witness and SMILE all with at least fifteen tracks. Katy's long-awaited album is nearly twenty minutes shorter than Reputation, the shortest of Swift's three most recent albums. Not to mention the fact that four of the tracks on SMILE were already released as singles over the past year and a half so really only eight of the tracks were unheard before. I know that Katy has been working on other projects such as American Idol in recent years, but by putting out an album that only has around twenty minutes of new music on just makes Katy look like a mediocre and uninspired artist.
The length of the album isn't the only mediocre thing about it either, the music sounds like something Katy recorded in 2013. It's tired pop music that seems irrelevant to the times we are currently living in.
That said, not every track on SMILE is created equally. Let's take a look at how each of these songs measures up to the high standards of creativity Katy has set in the past and the current competitive artistry in the music industry today.
The first track on the album Never Really Over was released as a single on May 31, 2019. It's one of the strongest songs on the album with a unique mix of electropop and impressive vocals. Lyrically, it's fairly basic, kind of like a One Direction song, but it's cute to think about it being about Katy and Orlando Bloom. The accompanying music video is eclectic with strange choreography, but not captivating enough to earn a VMA nomination.
Cry About It Later follows the formula of a chart-topping pop song and is slightly more alternative than Katy's other songs on this album. It's catchy, for sure, and super repetitive, but it's not really about anything deep. The song is basically about her trying to forget her problems by drowning them in alcohol at a party. It's a bit like an upbeat, dance adaptation of Sia's Chandelier. It's pop, rock, and EDM mixed into one song. It works, but it's nothing special. The animated music video Perry released for this song looks like a weird anime cartoon. It's kind of along the lines of Eilish's My Future, but it's not good.
Teary Eyes is the sequel to Cry About It Later. In Cry About It Later Katy is "havin' fun", "drinkin' it up", and planning to "cry about it later" while in Teary Eyes she is "dancin' with those teary eyes". Musically Teary Eyes is very similar to Cry About It Later, they both have a strong dance beat and somewhat melancholy feel. Teary Eyes is not a bad song, but after following Cry About It Later it seems boring because the songs are too similar.
Daises was the third single Perry released for this album. Like Katy's revolutionary hit Firework, it's about feeling down, but then realizing your self-worth. It has a good message and good melody at spots, but I cringe every time I hear the last time of the chorus. For some reason, at the end of the line, "Til they cover me in daises, daises, daises" Katy screams 'daises, dAiSes, DAISES," and it's not pleasing to my ear. Obviously some people don't mind scream-singing, Lewis Capaldi is very popular for it, but I would have preferred if Katy sang Daises without breaking into a scream-ish tone. The music video for this song is boring and unnecessary. I'm honestly not really sure why she even bothered to make the video because it's that basic. However, I do think it's sweet that she is carrying her like daughter, Daisy, in the music video for Daises. I see what you did there Katy.
Resilient is a refreshing change of pace on this album. I don't predict it will a hit on the radio, but nonetheless it's a nice low-key pop ballad. Lyrically, I think this is the most interesting of the songs on Katy's album. She continues the flower imagery from the previous track and there are some powerful lines in the verses and chorus. My favorite lyrics are, "But do you know the hotter the fire, the purer the gold is?" and "I'm gonna grow right through the cracks".
Not the End of the World gives me big Billie Eilish vibes. It's alternative pop and has an edgy, rebellious feel. However, the song isn't cynical like many of Billie's pieces. It's all about keeping hope alive and not giving up even if the present circumstances are rough. There couldn't have been a better time in history for this song to be released.
Smile maybe the title single, but it's the most annoying song on the record. Like every song that has ever been on a Target commercial, this song feels like an overly peppy seventh-grade dance team is trying desperately to get my attention. Smile may be a hit with young bubble pop and teen rock fans but I doubt it will be popular with a wide audience.
Champagne Problems is a great mature 80s sounding pop song, but it's not that unique. It could be commercially successful but it might not be. Like many of the other tracks on this album, it isn't bad, but it's stuff we've heard before.
Tucked is a cute song about thinking about a crush. It's kind of bubble pop with a bold Katy flare. I wish Katy had released this as a single and I think she could have made a really neat music video because this song tells such a cute story. Lyrically Tucked might be the most original and creative song on the album with the exception of Harley's in Hawaii. Unpopular opinion: Tucked is better than Don't Start Now.
Harleys In Hawaii is pop, but with a distinct R&B feel and a subtle hint of Hip-Hop. I like that Katy Perry branched out with a slightly different sound and style for this song, but it's kind of an annoying song. Plus, motorcycles are dangerous.
Only Love feels like a song that was written ten years ago. In my opinion, it's too repetitive. It sounds like a song that would be on a home insurance commercial. Only Love is sweet but basic and mediocre.
What Makes A Woman is the best song on this album. It's authentic, it's vulnerable, and it's real. The lyrics are actually interesting and although Katy still follows the pop pattern in this song, it sounds way more unique and original than any of the other songs on this album.
If I had to describe this album in two words I'd say fun, but mediocre. It feels like something I've heard too many times before. In a music industry where uniqueness, vulnerability, and the ability to reinvent yourself are priority Katy Perry and the SMILE album don't measure up well to the likes of Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa, and Billie Eilish.