October 18, 2013 7:21 pm

Katy Perry: Prism

Pop star sheds saucy all-American gal image to Indomitable Woman with Proper Feelings in her fourth album
 

You can trace Katy Perry’s evolution through her range of celebrity perfumes. The first appeared in 2010 under the name ‘Purr’. Aw, sweet. Then came 2011’s ‘Miaow’; a bit cattier this time. But her new scent really unsheathes the claws: it’s called ‘Killer Queen’. Have a whiff of that, Russell Brand. The singer’s failed marriage to the libidinous funnyman is the background to Perry’s change in image from saucy all-American gal to Indomitable Woman with Proper Feelings; a shift in emphasis that her fourth album Prism is expensively – and effectively – designed to cement.

Mostly produced by Swedish chart-pop maestro Max Martin and his US protégé Dr Luke, it’s a sleek, impressive exercise in big-budget pop, from the infectious self-affirmation anthem “Roar” to the confessional power ballad “By the Grace of God”. The innuendo-laden Perry of old isn’t entirely eradicated: her Cher-channelling tribute to a night of wild passion, “Walking on Air”, goes way over the top. But the overall mood lies a long way from the frothy likes of “I Kissed a Girl”. Different guises are adopted – 1980s Madonna on “Birthday”, 1990s Mariah Carey on “This Is How We Do” – without a hint of a smirk. The singing is powerful and versatile. Perry’s place at the top of pop’s A-list is secured.


Katy Perry

Prism

(Virgin EMI)

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