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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, April 18, 2014

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Katy Perry's new record blends a variety of styles.
Katy Perry's new record blends a variety of styles. (Photo: KatyPerry.com)

Katy Perry's "Prizm" offers a dazzling blend of colors

Ever since the release of her first major single, "I Kissed A Girl," Katy Perry has been a hot topic in pop culture. From there, the hits just kept coming.

Her confidence and charisma catapulted Perry to pop icon status. Her fluffy, cute, fun-loving persona has been seen everywhere from magazines to news casts.

Perry's new album, "Prizm," is full of classic Perry sounds, from dance, to energetic pop, to inspirational ballads. The album will not disappoint those who have been anxiously anticipating its release.

1. "Roar" – An upbeat tempo hits your ears as Katy sings about being downtrodden and in an altogether low place. Then, the chorus comes in and the lyrics change from pitying to confident and passionate. "I got the eye of the tiger, dancin’ through the fire ‘cuz I am the champion. You’re gonna hear me roar!" The combination of the lyrics and the enlightening sounds make this song a hit for when you’re feeling proud of yourself or particularly self-confident. It inspires a good mood and positive attitude.

2. "Legendary Lovers" – Katy takes you on a mental ride with this odd-sounding tune. She tackles being entranced and so intensely in love with this other person that their union will create something epic and indescribable. "Legendary lovers, we should be legendary." A flawless drum beat breaks through the song and you can’t stop swaying to the beat. It’s a hypnotizing song, and is a great addition to the album.

3. "Birthday" – You feel like you’ve jumped into some insanely bubblegum pop music video while listening to this song. Katy is all about making you feel good. "We’re livin’ the life, we’re doin’ it right, you’re never gonna be unsatisfied." Especially if it’s your birthday, this song will bring out the excitement in you. "So let me get you in your birthday suit. It’s time to bring out the big balloons!" The energy in this song is overpoweringly fun and boosts your mood within the first thirty seconds.

4. "Walking On Air" – This fast-paced dance song should be played in an Abercrombie & Fitch store. You can almost see yourself rummaging through the over-priced clothes while this song plays. This isn’t a bad thing. The song maintains your interest the whole time because of the great sounds and beats. Its energetic and speaks of always being surprised and excited to be with the one you love. It’s a constant uphill beat that makes you feel happy. "Just when I think I can’t take anymore, we go deeper and harder than ever before. We go higher and higher, I feel like I’m already there." This song will be popular whether you are a Katy Perry fan or not.

5. "Unconditionally" – Although the message of the song is a positive one and centered around loving someone without any rules, the song falls a little flat. The lyrics are slightly boring, "Unconditionally, I will love you. So open up your heart and just let it begin." Cheesy and not particularly interesting. This song could use a little bit of a creativity boost. Not one of the better songs on the album, but not quite a dud.

6. "Dark Horse" (featuring Juicy J) – Before judging the song, take the time to think about the different parts of the song that work, despite the fact that it is not one that is typical of Katy. The beat is sick and the lyrics go well with the sound effects. "Make me your Aphrodite. Make me your one and only. Don’t make me your enemy." The song is about being confident and questioning whether or not someone can handle you. Juicy J has a good verse and works well with the rest of what has been produced. "Dark Horse" is sure to be one of the bigger hits from this album.

7. "This Is How We Do" – When you’re with your friends and enjoying life, this is the song for you. Katy brings you into a night of fun and crazy times. "This goes out to all you kids that still have your car at the club valet and it’s Tuesday. Yo, shout out to all you kids buying bottle service with your rent money!" It’s reminiscent of Katy’s previous hit "Last Friday Night." It’s the kind of song you listen to when you’re about to go out.

8. "International Smile" – This song is pure fun. It’s about a girl with a beautiful soul and smile. She goes everywhere and has amazing connections all around the world. It’s charismatic and full of positive energy. "That girl’s a trip. A one-way ticket. Takes you miles high. She’s got that one international smile." The background sounds are another great part of this song because they add an even more prominent element of light-heartedness and enthusiasm. A great pick for anyone who is feeling successful and proud of themselves.

9. "Ghost" – You can’t have a pop album without a break-up song. Katy brings on the emotions with this song about not being with someone anymore, but still being unable to let go completely. A familiar feeling for almost everyone, unless you’ve been extremely lucky. "And now you’re just a ghost. When I look back I never would have known that you could have been so cold." It’s a nice song, but not one that jumps to the front of the line in comparison to the rest of the album.

10. "Love Me" – "No more second-guessing. No there’s no more questioning. I’ll be the one defining who I’m gonna be." Loving yourself is the main point of this song, which is always an appreciated topic in the music business. With all the pressure to be this-or-that, it’s important to remember who you are and what you desire. Katy does a great job of reminding everyone to be true to themselves.

11. "This Moment" – A great intro beat leads nicely to Katy’s voice. She sounds fantastic and the sounds blend perfectly with the notes she sings. She sings about being in the moment and not worrying about what the past or future has done or will do. "We pop what is prescribed if it gets us first prize. but you know who i think will win are the ones who let love in. Are the ones who take their time." It’s natural to worry about what will happen or what’s unpredictable, but Katy urges you to stay in the present and "be here with me."

12. "Double Rainbow" – A great description of the feeling of being in love. Katy sings about herself and the other person being perfect for each other. She sings "One man’s trash is another mans treasure. The two of us together makes everything glitter. Cuz I understand you. We see eye to eye. Like a double rainbow in the sky." A pretty interpretation of people being perfect for each other. A nice beat brings it home and keeps the song in your head for a little while after the song is done.

13. "By The Grace Of God" – The piano introduces Katy’s voice. She sings of being in a place where she felt like it was the end of the rope. She breaks into the chorus, telling of how she picked herself back up and found new strength. It’s a nice song that inspires people who may be in similar spots in life that they have the same strength, and ultimately have the power to make their lives better.

"Prizm," is a great example of what happens when you take great vocal talent and mix it with great production talent. The album gives listeners what they want in terms of what they expect from Katy Perry, as well as dishes out a couple surprising new sounds. It’s clear that Perry is just reaching her peak. Watch out pop culture, this pop princess is no push-over.

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