Alright, straight up: Prism is a happy listen. You only need to get past that opening song Roar (slow-burner, probably won’t catch on) to Legendary Lovers to make that decision but, from the off, there’s very valid reason for people to be excited for this.
And fair play to Katy Perry; when she first sleazed on to the pop scene, we thought she might be just some under-sexed Pink knock-off that wouldn’t last beyond an album. Teenage Dream went a fair way in shutting us up (though – not her fault – if someone uses Firework for another X-Factor VT we will cut a bitch so help us God). In front of Prism, we’re kneeling a little bit lower in servitude.
Take Walking On Air for example, released to the public recently. Of course, our first hope was for it to be some glorious Jordin Sparks mash-up of No Air and Walking on Snow, but it’s much more than that. It’s a massive signpost towards the more dancey, post-blue-wig-and-muffin-tits Perry of Prism, which is hardly surprising when you draft in Klas Ahlund. It’s the pinnacle of Prism, and a Katy Perry we’d flirt with way more often.
Most importantly – despite the main talking point of her recent iTunes performance, which is just as brilliant on record – Perry hasn’t lost any of her playfulness. Legendary Lovers has a middle-eight ‘wtf’ tabla-breakdown, and Birthday knowingly teeters on the precipice of cheese. However, there are some niggles: Sia continues to prove her overrated status with Double Rainbow, a ballad as lyrically outdated as its name. And while This is How We Do is painfully embarrassing, and a track like Dark Horse seems like it might be more at home on Bangerz, they’re forgivable missteps in the face of genuine bangers like Unconditionally and the Teenage Dream-throwback International Smile (which is basically every Katy Perry hit rolled into one).
The ones you should make time for, though? 1) This Moment: a perfect, perfect Robyn-level pop song that you will not be able to refuse. 2) Spiritual, aka Katy Perry’s Super Bass moment. It’s a bonus track that we’d happily take as a single, and something that probably wouldn’t be out of place on Madge’s Ray of Light.
Of course, after Prism drops there’s going to be chatter. There are going to be comparisons. But if the bloodthirsty mobs of the internet can be quelled, after the Miley-hate and Gaga-bait, it still wouldn’t be unfair to say that Perry has gone with the more straightforward, dare we say safer, pop album. Given how good it sounds – and how much it’s bound to sell – there’s no shame in being the middle prong of a wonderfully feisty, feminist trident. We just wish some of her male peers had the same amount of sense.