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Album Review: Smile by Katy Perry

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Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, or better known by her stage name, Katy Perry, is a singer and songwriter from California. When starting out her career, she originally sang Christian gospel music. After the record label ceased operations, Katy Perry decided to get into secular music, which ended up being a great choice for her. Her sophomore album, One of the Boys did very well and has some of her popular tracks like I Kissed a Girl and Hot n Cold. Katy Perry returns to the music scene with her fifth studio album, Smile.

The first track from the album is Never Really Over. The track opens up with your typical pop synth notes as well as some snap and clap notes. However, once the chorus kicks in, you are greeted by the Katy Perry vocals that all of us are used to. Once the first chorus cuts out, it changes completely and has more of a synthpop feel to it. It feels like more pop artists are starting to go in this direction. People are hinting at the meaning of this track and they are guessing that this is about her on and off relationship with Orlando Bloom.

Cry About It Later turns the mood down a bit, but you still have the pulsating synths that were apparent in the previous track. I do enjoy the layers of synths on this track since it just keeps on building with the same instrumentation. Katy Perry has this carefree attitude on the track when she says she'll cry about it later. She doesn't care what the consequences are at the moment, she just wants to have fun and drink with other people.

Based on the previous track, Teary Eyes could be the continuation track. I'm really digging the synth groove during the chorus, and people have made connections saying that the rhythm is similar to her song, Firework. The synths are just entrancing during the chorus, and Katy Perry's vocals just get surrounded in the music. No matter what is going on in her life, she just wants people to keep on dancing and have a good time, even when they are upset.

Daisies is a return to Katy Perry's original work since most of the synthpop elements have been cut out from this track. You have your original pop elements, as well as your regular piano and guitar parts. There are also parts of the track where she almost sounds like Taylor Swift. While the track took on a whole new meaning during the pandemic, she wants to remind others to stay true to themselves, even if other people might think that you will fail.

Resilient is another stripped back track. There aren't as many synthpop elements, but you still have your bass and drum kicks throughout the track. With the short and staccato-like notes, it really does feel like this track is minimal in instrumentation. This track was hinted at through 2020 with several social media posts from her. This track definitely has a similar message to the last track since she still wants people to ignore the negative messages.

Not the End of the World brings us back to the energetic synth music. There are also some elements of trap with different drumkits. Katy Perry's delivery on her vocals is just perfect and there are definitely some memorable lines on this track. I'm starting to wonder if this track has any connection with what's going on in the world right now. The end of the track has a similar feeling to the track Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Good Bye. This track talks about not giving up and what we are about to see is a new beginning.

After that, we have the title track, Smile, which is a dance-heavy track. Sometimes, the synth notes sound like something Com Truise would come up with on his music. This definitely seems like that energetic summer track that people were looking forward to. Katy Perry talks about being thankful and grateful for the things in your life. Because of that, she wants people to smile and be happy about it.

Champagne Problems opens up with some distorted strings, but then a bass part quickly comes in. The bass part really carries this track on. Katy Perry reveals that this track is actually about her relationship with Orlando Bloom. She talks about how some people aren't able to see the issues, but every relationship has its challenges that it faces. She says if it's a real relationship, people will work through those problems.

Tucked opens up with a few guitar notes. After that, it does have some sort of disco vibe going on. You also have your bass-groove that keeps the beat going. Besides the disco-esque vibe, the track talks about keeping someone tucked away in your head. She talks about having a fantasy with someone that no one else can hear or see. While it will never happen in real life, she just has a fantasy of other people and what it would be like.

Harleys In Hawaii opens up with an acoustic backing. Besides that, it's very minimal in nature since you have a bass and a simple drum beat. Not that big of a fan of the track, but it is definitely more chill and laid back compared to some of the other tracks. I guess a positive for the track are the layers of vocals during the chorus. The track has to do with Katy Perry and her partner riding motorcycles in the state of Hawaii.

Only Love opens up with a quiet piano part and a layer of vocals. It does end up building up in intensity, but not too much. You do have more instrumentation during the chorus, but that's the only part where it opens up. Katy Perry talks about what she would do if she only had one more day to live. She talks about apologizing to her family as well as leaving all the hate behind. She just wants to leave the world on a happy note.

The last track from the album is What Makes A Woman. It's just an acoustic filled track, with some vocal harmonies here and there. While she said this track is dedicated to her daughter, Daisy, it was in the works before she was pregnant and has to do with the negative perception of her previous album. She talks about how being a woman is so many different things and there isn't just one defining moment on what makes a woman.

Overall Rating: 6/10
Favorite Tracks: Cry About It Later, Teary Eyes, Not the End of the World, Smile

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