Katy Perry - Smile: Review
Updated: Sep 7, 2020
“Undermined” throughout her career due to the nature of her music and her philosophy on it. But what she delivers are a lot of professionally focused pop hits, and then there are the oddities, Like “E.T.” featuring Kanye West. So it is safe to say that her newest album, Smile, is a slight step up from Witness even when it isn’t all fully there. Katy Perry returns to familiarity compared to her previous album Witness. It tried to find a foot in a rising trend - blending with electronic music.
Smile opens to an array of dance-pop synth-pop hybrids that could break airwaves at any point. The album has some consistency, but the moments Katy tries to make something slightly new and modern sounds, it tends to come off a little generic for her. It also features more return to the disco influence in pop music for the 2020 year.
Tracks like “You’re Never Really Over,” “Daisies,” and “Harleys in Hawaii,” do such by being more obtuse than her more grounded power hits. The latter weaves these tropical - reggae vibes over a mellow pop-bass groove. It leads off as some of the prominent standouts on the album.
Smile is still full of questionable songs that felt a little more basic and a bunch of mirrors. “Teary Eyes,” takes slight cues from rhythmic melodies like Dua Lipa uses in “Good in Bed,” to better effect. Coincidentally this track follows one that is about crying later and enjoying the fun now. “Teary Eyes,” is about crying now and dancing… you know fun things.
The second half of the album doesn’t land as strong as the first with few highlights and Katy Perry continuing the redundancy in basic tracks about resilience. With tracks like “Resilient,” midway and “What Makes A Woman,” it’s not hard to see why. Though the latter has an eloquent instrumental backing it.
Katy Perry's shift in life from the short haired platinum blonde era of 2016 to 2018 to the soon to be mother with fiance Olrando Bloom has definitely influenced the writing perspective on the album. Like the aforementioned “Daisies,” which is a colorful pop ballad about never changing until you’re covered in daisies. It did lead to a phenomenal remix by Oliver Heldens, which drove home that meaning and turned into a LGBTQ+ anthem. Or so the assumption goes by the performances she had at their sponsored virtual concert over the summer.
Through hurdles Smile still lands as a competent album from the popstar, despite losing her touch post Teenage Dream.