Katy Perry: Smile Review

25 Nov

Do I think this album has some catchy (old term) radio-worthy songs? Indeed. Does it deserve Grammy nominations? MMm, I don’t know if anything here was substantial enough to warrant that. Do I think Taylor Swift was featured on one of these songs? Yes I do. I don’t care what anyone says, I can hear it. Maybe someday the truth will be revealed.

Never Really Over:  Perry really knows what she’s doing when she picks (does she write her own stuff?) her songs.  This first track immediately grabs the listener by the ear and pulls them into the album.  It’s got that hook.  Masterfully catchy.

Cry About It Later:  That gallop beat!  It makes it exciting, it makes the song good for dancing and running alike.  And it’s a cool thought to have fun now and feel pain later.  The guitar interlude in the latter part of the song took it into retro territory, which I think was unintended.  

Daisies:  Did Taylor Swift write this, did she sing at all, and is she credited?  It has her stamp all over it.  I am pretty sure that’s Taylor’s voice, like you can especially hear it come in on 0.26 sec. And blended with Perry’s voice on 0.44.  And on 0.52.  Also 1.20 and 1.34.  After 2.16, it’s an obvious duet, so I don’t understand why she’s not credited…  Other than Kaylor reasons…  You can hear it well at these time stamps:  2.32, 2.37, 2.42.  Or if it’s words that are easier for you to hear: “nowhere” “ cover me in daisies” too.  Daisy is a decidedly Kaylor symbol.  Lyrics like, “put our hopes in a box in the attic” and “take those sticks and stones, I could build a house” and “tell me that I’m crazy”

Resilient: The optimism in this song rings genuine, which I like.  Perry can easily veer into the superficial, and that didn’t happen here.  The imagery of a flower growing through the cracks of concrete is both nice, and holds up.  And she sticks with the metaphor throughout the song (other than one gold reference), so that’s good.

Not the End of the World:  Gosh, how many ways can I say that Perry knows how to pick material that is a catchy, ear-worm?  This is too.  Nice fast speed, some neat background tricks (ghost laughter) with the production.  A sample phrase, but blended within the song beautifully, so it’s meshed, not separated.  Gets stuck in my head every, damn, time.

There were several bland love songs in between.

Harleys In Hawaii:  I am not a fan of the lyrics.  It’s cheesy drivel.  But the song got points for production value and that sustained note Perry sings toward the end.

Only Love:  Has some nice choral backing, and a pretty acapella outro.

What Makes a Woman:  I think it’s good to ask what makes a woman.  So that society at large, can realize a lot of it is performative, and not the characteristics that actually define the female.  Women can be anything.  And Perry ( clumsily) points this out.  Hair length, softness of skin, and makeup really don’t matter.  I’m not a fan of bringing up bitch to describe women, nor do I like the over-the-top compliments to women, for biological things beyond control.  Perry gets halfway to a feminist perspective, in challenging factors that define the traditional feminine.  But she also misses the point that women are also no better than men.  That’s not what feminism is going for.  We just want to be treated as people, no worse, but also no better.  So C+ for broaching a stigmatized subject, but points off for not entirely understanding the goal.  Also, that last line is a rhyme cheat, “turnin” and “woman” do not rhyme..  But good overall effort.  And thanks for the bravery for putting this out there when our patriarchal society makes feminist a bad word.

One Response to “Katy Perry: Smile Review”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: