March 22 – One of the Boys by Katy Perry
Genre: An edgier-than-usual pop
Total tracks: 12
Songs you might know:
– “I Kissed a Girl”
– “Waking Up in Vegas”
– “Thinking of You”
– “Ur So Gay”
– “Hot ‘n Cold”
My prior relationship with this album: I definitely listened to this album not too long after it came out. I remember having an overall positive opinion of it, and thinking many of the deep cuts were better than the singles used for marketing. That being said, I can’t remember how most of those deep cuts go, so it should be fun to revisit.
My impressions this time around: This actually exceeded my expectations, so much so that I gave it a listen even AFTER I thought I’d finished my writeup, albeit I did skip “Ur So Gay.” Many of the songs I hadn’t remembered are quite strong, “Self Inflicted” possibly being the strongest on a mostly consistent album (we’ll get to “Ur So Gay” in a bit). There’s also stuff like “Waking Up in Vegas” that I DO remember, but sounded better on this listen.
What I found really interesting about One of the Boys is that it’s incredibly live sounding. Oftentimes “pop” is defined by the dance club beats of Max Martin and Dr. Luke (who did work on “I Kissed a Girl” and “Hot ‘n Cold”). But this is a pop album that still embraces good old-fashioned guitars, drums, and bass. While too many pop tropes are present for this to really be “rock,” it definitely draws influence from rock, resulting in a sound that’s raw and real. Revisiting this album definitely made me wish that Perry would ditch whatever the hell she does now and return to this sound.
Now we do have to talk about “Ur So Gay.” Besides the fact the song just ages incredibly poorly, let’s also admit that it wasn’t that good in 2008 either. It’s just an immature list of stereotypes that don’t really convey any genuine emotion. There’s already two slower, break-up-the-monotony songs on here, “Lost” and “I’m Still Breathing,” both of which certainly hold their own. “Ur So Gay” just feels like it’s here for shock value as a desperate cry for attention, and the album would’ve been stronger without it.
Who would enjoy it? People that enjoy the catchy hooks and easily digestible lyrics of pop, but are put off by too much digitization.