'Teenage Dream' A Pop Music Dream

I like Katy Perry. I like that she's a spitting image of Zooey Deschanel. I like that her boobs are real. I like that she writes her own songs. And I like that she has wholeheartedly embraced her role as a sugar-coated pop starlet and doesn't take herself too seriously.

"California Gurls," Perry's inescapable summer smash, was, as Perry herself put it, "a no-brainer." Perry later admitted, "I'm not saying..."California Gurls" is a f***ing genius opus!... I just know what kind of card this summer needs, and that's the one I'm playing."

It wasn't until she released the follow-up single to "California Gurls" that my listen buds were whetted. "Teenage Dream," the title-track and second single from Perry's sophomore effort is neon lights, rollerskates, and convertibles. It is dance parties in parking lots, high school crushes, and lollipops. It is also one of the most delicious doses of pop confection in recent memory.

And that pretty much sums up the entire album Teenage Dream. Packed with infectious pool-side pop gems from beginning to end, the album aptly captures the delights of being a teenager in the 90s and perfectly highlights Perry's strengths: naughty-but-nice attitude, tongue-in-cheek charm, and off-beat, quirky lyrics. Perry enlists the help of two pop-pros, Dr. Luke and Max Martin, giving the album its glossy finish.

Did I mention the album is packaged in cotton-candy scented paper?

Katy Perry was once pegged to be a one-hit wonder, but has since gone on to deliver four #1 singles ("Teenage Dream" will almost inevitably become her fifth) and a slew of other memorable ditties. This album includes a handful of potential smash hits, most notably "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" and "Peacock." The former is a impeccably composed pop anthem about Friday night shenanigans (think of it as a more grown-up Ke$ha track with a groovy saxophone interlude), while the latter will inevitably become a smash hit and stir up quite a kafuffle of controversy. I'll let the obviously suggestive title speak for itself.

Even the quieter songs on the album are strong, showcasing a softer side of Perry, reminiscent of her past days as a Christian singer/songwriter. Just look how far she's come.

Album rating: 8.5/10
Songs to download: "Teenage Dream," "Last Friday Night," "Peacock," "E.T."


hun*ter said...

Ughhhhhhh...I can't get away from this gurl [sic]. I get on here and there are not one, but TWO articles about her. Then she was in my dream. I guess you would call that a Teenage Dream. She sang a concert for an elementary school and I was there with my sisters. Then we talked after. I told her she should try singing songs that aren't so dumb and gimmicky.

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