Katy’s fourth album shows depth, growth
By Sophie Isbister, Life & Style Editor
Prism, the fourth studio album from former Christian pop singer Katy Perry, shows the mature, spiritual side of the woman who got famous for gimmicky songs like “I Kissed a Girl.”
Perry began recording the album during her highly publicized split with actor Russell Brand. This event is firmly represented in many tracks on the album, including the rousing first single and opening track, “Roar,” a song about Perry finding her voice after the trauma of her divorce.
Full of ‘90s nostalgia beats, Prism shows off its solid production and commitment to the legacy of pop music. Even throwaway tracks like “Birthday” and “This Is How We Do” had me dancing in my seat.
But pure cheese doesn’t fill the whole album; Prism primarily contains songs that deal with self-empowerment, epic love, and growing up. On “Love Me,” she sings about honesty, self-love, and saying goodbye to insecurities—good advice that is a far cry from Teenage Dream’s obsession with ménage a trois and drunken Friday nights.
Prism is firmly an album for the late-20s set. Perry, who was 27 during the writing of this album, references her age on the haunting and beautiful track, “By the Grace of God.” Spirituality combines with the angst of approaching the age of 30, as Perry gently sings about picking herself up off the floor with the help of family and faith. This is just one of the songs on Prism that references Perry’s religious background: she is the daughter of Pentecostal pastors, and had an early career as a gospel singer.
But despite this, Perry’s new effort does not come off as overtly religious. Rather, Perry’s spirituality is held up as an incidental factor that helped her realize the true strength of herself as an individual.
Of course, deep thoughts aren’t exactly the reason that most people will pick up a Perry album, and for that crowd, Prism doesn’t disappoint. She teams up with rapper Juicy J on “Dark Horse,” a trap-tinged track with an infectious beat that was inspired by the 1996 film The Craft.
The genuinely gleeful “International Smile” is the cherry on top of this well-rounded effort that cements Perry’s position as reigning pop princess.