Review: ‘Teenage Dream’ by Katy Perry

The current trend in pop music is toward the bold and experimental in visuals, combined with catchy hooks and beats. Among the new pop divas dominating the music scene these days, though, few seem to be actually enjoying themselves with as much fervor as the delightfully quirky Katy Perry. This feat, shown with some initial promise on her debut pop album’s first two singles (the number one single “I Kissed a Girl” and number three-peaking “Hot n Cold”) is expounded upon with the release of her sophomore album, Teenage Dream.

While Perry’s 2008 work, One of the Boys, is a solid effort overall, the strength of the album’s two biggest singles obscures the rock influence that’s heard on the album’s other ten tracks. With Teenage Dream, Perry takes the poppier sounds of her two biggest hits and magnifies them, working with the same producers, Max Martin and Dr. Luke, on five of the album’s tracks. For the rest, she brings in pop producers Tricky Stewart and Stargate, along with longtime collaborator Greg Wells.

The result of this emphasis on dance-oriented pop music, with the occasional rock influence still creeping in, is a more sonically diverse disc than her last album. The greatest fault of the album is an interesting one: Teenage Dream doesn’t necessarily hold up as an album in and of itself, but it makes for a rather stunning greatest hits album. An album this packed with potential singles hasn’t been released since Rihanna’s majorly successful Good Girl Gone Bad. Just a week before the album’s release, Perry became the tenth female in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 to land two top five singles in a single week, with former number one single “California Gurls” and the recently released second single “Teenage Dream.” With the album’s third single, the explosive “Firework,” already in line for an October release, music fans anticipate Perry’s stronghold on the charts to continue for months to come.

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