Katy Perry / Teenage Dream / Capitol
The California dame is known for her 1950s’ pin-up provocativeness but it’s her ability to wear American pop on her lips and touch it up with originality that makes her glow. Looking past the sugar-coated singles, Teenage Dream struts alongside a cult of models who dabble in electronic sass yet unstraps it’s own “Blue Steel” pose to stand out. Unnecessary robotic disasters (“E.T.”) and Toni Basil tributes (“Peacock”) knock Perry’s talent down a flight of stairs but unlike other tween dream failures, she grasps a torn heart and regains her balance.
The candlelit closer “Not Like The Movies” embraces her vocals, pushing her to passionately explode on “Firework”, showcasing a drive for writing with meaning. Add in house-party hooks intoxicated off simplicity and it’s crystal clear Perry can live above the clouds, if electronic fame doesn’t imprison her first.
Download: “Last Friday Night”, “Firework”