When I was given Jotaka as my April Fools Day Swap, I wasn’t sure of what to do for it.  I knew that he mainly does music so I decided that I take a look at his past work.  I took a look at his Album In Depth series of blogs where he did an in-depth look at an album of a musician.  That made me decide to do the same thing.  This would be interesting thing to me as I don’t live or breathe music.  I am actually more into individual songs than I am into musical artists so there was quite a bit of a challenge for me to figure out which album I was going to do.  Then, I decided that I should do a Katy Perry album.  Specifically, the extended edition of her second album, Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection.

The reason why I chose to do a Katy Perry album is because she has been hugely successful artist despite some criticisms that are thrown against her.  One of the criticisms against Katy Perry is the fact that she is not a very good singer and relies on auto-tune to make her signing bearable.  Another is that some of her songs can come off as narcissistic.  To be honest, those criticisms are very much true.  She is not a good signer and she can come off as arrogant in some of her songs.  To be honest though, my feelings of Katy Perry is not as straightforward as it seems.

This is going to take a while to explain my feelings about Katy Perry so I might as well get started on the review of the album.  Also, before I start, I’m well aware that Teenage Dream is technically her third album as she did have an album back in 2001 under her real name, Katy Hudson.  However, as far as her pop career goes, Teenage Dream is her second album.  I shouldn’t delay my review any longer, let’s get started then, shall we?

1st track: “Teenage Dream”- The album was named after this song which makes it all the more fitting that it is also the best song on the album.  There is just no denying that this song is just a very well written and structured pop song even if it is sung by Katy Perry.  There is a very nice nostalgic beat to the production and while some of Perry’s narcissistic personality does show up a little bit on the song, the producers and song writers manage to pull it off.

2nd track: “Last Friday Night(T.G.I.F)”- This song is pretty much the guilty pleasure of the entire album for me.  Not because the song is bad but because it seems like a song that I would normally hate.  However, I think that it manages to work as a party song, even if Perry is trying her best to be obnoxious, especially in the music video for it.  There are some forced rhymes in the song such as rhyming “ginger ale” and “epic fail” but overall, an entertaining song.

3rd track: “California Gurls” ft. Snoop Dog- This song is a little harder for me to describe my opinion on since while it does have a memorable beat to it and is very catchy overall, it does suffer from have some really lazy verses from Snoop Dog and having a music video that thinks it is sexier than it really is.  Overall, it is enjoyable despite it faults.

4th track: “Firework”- This song is Katy Perry’s attempt to make a feel good song.  The results of this are mixed.  The production of the song is incredibly solid with the music really swelling up when it needs to.  However, some of the lyrics are very questionable as while they are well-intentioned,  they do show that Perry isn’t quite sure how a person with low self-esteem really feels.  It is an okay song despite these issues and it is nowhere near the worst song on the album.

5th track: “Peacock”- Now we get to the album tracks that aren’t singles.  This is also where the album starts to show it’s weak points.  While it makes sense that the singles would have to make the most effort put into them, the non-single tracks should at least be listenable.  This song is grating and obnoxious with Katy Perry pretty much screaming “peacock” into your ears until they start bleeding.  Avoid at all costs.

6th track: “Circle the Drain”- Yet another grating and obnoxious song.  There are some really forced rhymes in the song and it is practically un-listenable just like the song above.  There is no need to expand upon this song any further.

7th track: “The One That Got Away”- This is a decent song and I do appreciate that Katy Perry decided to go for a more serious tone with this single.  There is some genuine emotion coming from the song.  The beat that they decided to go with isn’t really what I would have gone for but it works okay.

8th track: “E.T.”- This is a terrible song with no tune whatsoever and awful lyrics.  Also, there is a huge possibility that the producers decided to avoid auto-tune for this song which would be a huge mistake considering that Perry is really not a very good singer. Mind you, auto-tune doesn’t always hide her lack of singing talent but it would have made the song more tolerable if it really wasn’t used her.

9th track: “Who Am I Living For?”- This song manages the impossible task of being dull and obnoxious, something you would think is impossible but this song manages to do it.  I can’t even tell you if the lyrics are good or not because the tune is so dull that lyrics pretty much don’t matter any more to me as the song has already lost me by the time lyrics start showing up.

10th track: “Pearl”- The only thing I can tell you about this song is that you don’t even need to listen to it and if you do listen to it once, you’ll never listen to it again, anyway.  There is nothing memorable about the song at all and it doesn’t have any other use other than to fill up the album.

11th track “Hummingbird Heartbeat”- I don’t remember a single thing about this song other than the fact that I listened to it once and most likely won’t ever hear it again.  The song is has nothing to offer.

12th track: “Not Like The Movies”- All I can tell you about this song is that I found it really dull and won’t listen to it every again.  Do you see a running theme here?  Pretty much all of the non-single album tracks have no use but to fill space on the album and let Katy Perry go all out with her obnoxious personality.

13th track: “The One That Got Away(acoustic)”- For the most part, the second half of this album is considerably less interesting than the first half.  This is a different version of “The One That Got Away” as above with the tune replaced with a processed sounding guitar playing in the background.  It is basically the same song but with a different sound tune, which for me, meets with nothing but apathy.

14th track: “Part of Me”-  This song suffers from not being sure of what it wants to be.  It tries to be both a “man bashing” song and a “female empowerment” song at the same time and doesn’t work as either because of that.  It is listenable and it is not the worst single on the album.  Also, Perry’s annoying vocals just makes the song come off as mean-spirited at points where it really shouldn’t be.  In addition, the music video makes the mistake of having Katy Perry strip to her underwear.  For obvious reasons, this should not be done if the song has a female empowerment message in it.

15th track: “Wide Awake”- I am not sure about to think of this song.  It is definitely not a bad song but it goes in really weird directions.  I do respect that Perry decided to go in a different direction with this single and I will definitely not have problems with listening to it.

16th track: “Dressin’ Up”- Like “S & M” by Rhianna, this song tries to be sexy but comes off as painfully forced.  This is yet another album filler that has no use other than to let Perry loose without anyone watching other her to grab her by the leash.

17th track: “E.T.” ft. Kanye West- This is the version of “E.T.” that was released as a single and it is still an awful song.  It suffers from the same issues as the first version in addition to adding lame verse for Kanye West to rap to.  Avoid it at all costs.

18th track: “Last Friday Night(T.G.I.F.)” ft. Missy Elliot- This is a weird and weak remixed version of “Last Friday Night” that awkwardly jams in Missy Elliot without it feeling like the rap verses were transitioned into the song naturally.

19th track: Tommie Sunshine’s Megasix Smash Up- This is a pointless and awkward  mash up of several of the album’s singles.  There is no real use for this mash up unless you like having single awkwardly mangles together.

How was the album overall?  Not so good.  While quite a few of the singles are good(albeit not all of them), they don’t make up for the awful album fillers that pointlessly pad out the album with songs that pretty much everyone can do without.  Only buy this album if you are a die hard Katy Perry fan.  Otherwise, you are better off spending the money on better albums of other artists.


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