Katy Perry aimed to make purposeful-pop with her new album, Witness, instead, it comes off slightly dated and most definitely purpose-less.
This era hasn’t been the as fruitful as many expected for the chart Queen that is Perry, she’s clocked up number ones like they’re nothing over her three album releases, Teenage Dream being the biggest hit earner.
“Chained To The Rhythm” stuck relatively close to the bubblegum-pop that the star usually churns out, but it didn’t set the charts, or people’s interests alight, peaking at number four on the Billboard Hot 100. In context of the album, this song get’s lost sonically but also sticks out for being the only track that sticks to the ‘purposeful-pop’ that Perry has pushed the album has.
Following single, “Bon Appétit” was even more disappointing, not even gracing the top 50, and the feature with Migos caused controversy due to their comments on the LGBT+ community.
Disappointment is the one consistent theme that runs through the album – because it’s damn sure that the ‘purposeful-pop’ all got pumped into “Chained.”
Opening tracks, “Witness” and “Hey Hey Hey” do their job as far as setting the scene for the rest of the album, with their harsh, disco-ready beats and synths hard enough to crack concrete. However, lyrically both songs just are just complete messes and end up losing their message, especially “Hey;” “A big beautiful brain with a pretty face, yeah/A babydoll with a briefcase, yeah/Red lipstick but still so raw, yeah/Marilyn Monroe in a monster truck” – seriously, what the fuck?!
The main problem with the album is that the songs don’t grab your attention and keep it hooked, possibly due to the length of the album, 15 songs that mostly take the disco-house genre is a log and hard listen. The tracks also don’t seem to compliment each other, the lack of cohesiveness makes you want to a number of tracks at a time.
A couple of songs that could have easily been sliced off the album are noisy, but ultimately annoying, “Power,” the ‘been done one thousand times’ track, ironically called “Déjá Vu” and the nearly unlistenable “Mind Maze.”
The album isn’t all bad though, the saving grace of the album is the choruses, something that Perry has never struggled with – even the worse tracks like “Power” still pack a fun, epic chorus.
“Roulette” is an explosive synth led track that’s underlying vibe seems to be picked straight from the 80s synth gods, The Eurythmics, and the already released, supposed Taylor Swift diss-track, “Swish Swish” push the hard dance sound of the album the way it should be, flawlessly, fiercely and confidently!
Surprisingly, the highlights of this album are it’s slower moments, excluding the boring and day-dream inducing “Into Me You See.” “Miss You More” is a track that allows Perry to use all aspects of her voice, mainly the falsetto, while talking about looking back at an ex and remembering the good times, and ultimately the feeling of being lonely – “I miss you more than I loved you.”
“Save As Draft” is a track that the older generation might not get, with its keyboard sounds linking to the e-mail theme of the song. Again, the simple piano and mid-tempo beat on the chorus allow Perry’s voice to soar making you feel every word she’s singing.
Overall, the album isn’t disgusting, it’s just annoying as we know she can do much more. It’s highs shine bright, but the lows just don’t do anything, it’s not that they’re bad, the simply allow your mind to wonder – which is worse than actually being a bad track.
Being an album that you’re not likely to replay often, Perry should be worried about Swift ‘coincidently’ putting her catalogue back onto Spotify…the exact same day – shady and snakey as always!
Check out Witness below and let us know what you think in the comments!