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When you have an album as successful and hit-generating as Teenage Dream, it’s almost impossible to follow it up with something just as good.
Katy Perry’s third album, Prism, is a more focused and mature sounding album than her previous two. Teenage Dream fans may be disappointed by the less outlandish, more reflective sound, but isn’t that what an artist is supposed to do, actually grow after time? Yes, but it’s always a risk to not conform and do what has worked before (and spawned five number one singles).
“Roar,” the first single from the album, sets the tone for the album - “I just got out of a horrible relationship, but that hasn’t stopped me, I am woman, hear me roar.” It’s good, but this may be the highest charting song from this album. There’s the currently trendy throwback-sounding, Timberlake/Bruno-esque “Birthday,” the EDM inspired “Dark Horse” with Juicy J from Three 6 Mafia, and “Unconditionally,” which really does showcase Perry’s vocals, which, of course, are never in question. “This Is How We Do” and “Ghost” don’t really offer much and could have probably been left off completely. “By The Grace of God,” the album's ending ballad, really showcases her maturity, and was obviously inspired by her recent heartache. The three bonus tracks on the deluxe edition are really only a need for the die-hard fan, being just more filler than killer.
Although more focused and mature, Prism doesn’t flow as well as Teenage Dream. I don’t think fans will be disappointed, but they will need to be open to the growth and possible direction Perry is now going.