The California Gurl follows up her 2008 smash 'One of The Boys', proving that you don't need decent tunes to have a hit album.
In today's music scene it seems female artists are lining up to try to outdo each other's sexual explicitness. Katy Perry is up there with Gaga, Rihanna and Xtina as one the frontrunners, but it's a farcical publicity tactic that's losing its shock value fast. Hands up who was really surprised when Katy appeared nude on her album cover. No one? Well then.
Perhaps it's Perry's unlikely beginnings in Christian rock that led her to swing so far in the opposite direction. While Katy's innuendo filled single 'California Gurls' may be a good dancing tune for a night out with the girls, singing about hangovers and foreplay is less than classy. But then, as someone who earned a hit single by squirting whipped cream from her breasts, Perry is hardly aiming for class. Her repeated pleas that she "want[s] to see your peacock cock cock cock cock" are a particular highlight, leaving you wondering whether 'Teenage Dream' is really intended to be taken seriously. To be Russell Brand's perfect woman Katy must have a wicked sense of humour after all.
More than that, the lyrics are clunky, the melodies insipid and the production as flat as a pancake. But with nary a writing credit to be seen, Katy herself isn't entirely to blame. It says a lot that 'One of the Boys', to which Perry contributed significantly, was a far superior record, though still made up of mildly offensive pedestrian pop.
Things here spiral further when she attempts slower dance ballads such as the piano-led love song 'Not Like The Movies', delving to a level of cheese reserved only for Americans. On the plus side, the thumping beat and futuristic synths of 'E.T.' do provide a brief respite, being only unspectacular as opposed to downright painful. All in all, completely mindless tripe.