12 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

As its title implies, Katy Perry’s second album is the musical equivalent of a young teenaged girl’s dream of boys and sunshine, and California days and nights where the ocean water kisses the sky. The beats kick into the ‘80s and hint at techno with songwriters Dr. Luke, Max Martin, Stargate and Tricky Stewart, jumpstarting the hooks that come to a head with the Snoop Dogg-featured “California Gurls” and its Jane-meets-Tarzan beach party “whoas.” It’s the synthetic sound of the shopping mall: air-conditioned beats and keyboard strobe lights working their way through the producer’s hall of mirrors. Comparisons to Gwen Stefani and Britney Spears seem fair, considering the complete embracement of shiny, happy pop with the occasional innocence-gone-bad moment (“Peacock”). Religious suggestions (“Who Am I Living For?”) are overwhelmed by boy-crazy love (“Teenage Dream,” “Hummingbird Heartbeat” and the matching tattoos of “The One That Got Away”) but before you think Perry’s living out the Hollywood Dream, she lets us know things are “Not Like the Movies.” 

EDITORS’ NOTES

As its title implies, Katy Perry’s second album is the musical equivalent of a young teenaged girl’s dream of boys and sunshine, and California days and nights where the ocean water kisses the sky. The beats kick into the ‘80s and hint at techno with songwriters Dr. Luke, Max Martin, Stargate and Tricky Stewart, jumpstarting the hooks that come to a head with the Snoop Dogg-featured “California Gurls” and its Jane-meets-Tarzan beach party “whoas.” It’s the synthetic sound of the shopping mall: air-conditioned beats and keyboard strobe lights working their way through the producer’s hall of mirrors. Comparisons to Gwen Stefani and Britney Spears seem fair, considering the complete embracement of shiny, happy pop with the occasional innocence-gone-bad moment (“Peacock”). Religious suggestions (“Who Am I Living For?”) are overwhelmed by boy-crazy love (“Teenage Dream,” “Hummingbird Heartbeat” and the matching tattoos of “The One That Got Away”) but before you think Perry’s living out the Hollywood Dream, she lets us know things are “Not Like the Movies.” 

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