ARTIST: Katy Perry
TITLE: One of the Boys
YEAR RELEASED: 2008
CHART ACTION: #9 US, #11 UK
SINGLES: I Kissed a Girl (#1 US, #1 UK), Hot n Cold (#3 US, #4 UK), Thinking of You (#29 US, #27 UK), Waking Up in Vegas (#9 US, #19 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Ur So Gay
LINEUP: Katy Perry and a shit ton of people. Wikipedia lists 48 people on the credits – either as musicians, A&R, composers, photographers, producers, artists. I mean….wow.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Twelve tracks, seven production teams, nine writing teams, four tracks Perry wrote on her own, five million copies, and it’s rather disposable.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: First off, this is pop music, so we’re not talking about something designed for uber-critical dissection. Yet, there needs to be some sincerity and meaningful performances even for the most candy-coated radio-friendly pop fodder.
Perry’s debut has a few songs like that, and you know a lot of them. However, Perry as a lyricist here is sometimes puerile, sometimes hateful (“Ur So Gay” is just nasty and loathsome – not funny at all), and mostly cliché ridden. I wasn’t expecting Elvis Costello, but some of these lyrics are really simple. As a vocalist, she has limitations here. It sounds like she’s trying to eject her lungs with each syllable. She’s not subtle. She’s breathy. I have a feeling that a lot of the vocals were recorded line by line (or close to it).
The production is radio friendly. There are different styles, but that seems to be more in line with grabbing the playlist brass ring than anything. It’s kind of disjointed (so many producers will do that to an album).
Yet, there’s something compelling about some of the songs. The best ones have an earworm quality that stick with you. To that end, this is a partial success. Choose your tracks wisely on this one.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Perry’s real name is Katy Hudson, and she released a gospel album under that name in 2001. Also, she had a couple of aborted albums and some of these tracks were destined for those records.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Lots of exclusive bonus tracks and foreign editions.
GRADE: C+: I can’t totally slag it since some of it is decent pop confections. But again, you need to choose wisely.