Katy Perry embarks on new sonic trip » Manila Bulletin Entertainment



It’s been 10 years since Katy Perry released her debut “One Of The Boys” in 2008. This year sees the release of her fourth album “Witness” touted as signaling a new era in her career.

Katy Perry

With experimentation at the top of her to-do list, the set prompted Perry to allow a small platoon of producers to tweak her sound. Note though that Perry still co-wrote all of the tracks and got her hands dirty as far as crafting her latest offering is concerned.

The new set kicks off with the title track, a head-bobbing mid-tempo banger with an electro-pop tinge. Likewise with “Hey Hey Hey,” a statement song delving into women stereotypes. There’s “Roulette,” a synth-driven number bordering on ’80s new wave.

The Katy Perry hooks are still there, although buried in the beats. The Duke Dumont-produced “Swish Swish” is one good example of that, starting out straight pop but morphs right into a house beat. Sampling “Star 69” by Fatboy Slim, the track also features Nicki Minaj who brings up the rear (pun intended) with a wicked rap break.

Another electro-flavored track is “Déjà vu” a song about a relationship gone stale. The faux thunder beats that mark “Power” every so often punctuate another Perry tell-all about a bad relationship.

This albun borrows elements from house, EDM, R&B and Hiphop. It takes careful listening to detect it, but there’s ebb and flow to it all.

‘Witness’ official album art (mb.com.ph)

‘Witness’ official album art

From down-tempo numbers on the fraught-themed “Mind Maze,” the longing ambient sound on “Miss You More,” and the fine, one-that-got-away themed “Save As Draft;” to the rising cadence of “Chained To The Rhythm,” (featuring Bob Marley grandson Skip Marley, and a Sia Furler co-write credit) then pulsing with a Massive Attack-like build up on “Tsunami,” here’s a sonic trip if you’re willing to ride shotgun.

Perry describes her latest work as simply one “fun, dance-y and dark and light” set. Well, yeah, that too.

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