Katy Perry: Teenage Dream
Format: CD, Vinyl, Streaming, Digital Download
Release Date: August 24th, 2010
Album Number: 2
Intro– Teenage Dream is Katy Perry’s best album worldwide and, in my opinion, her most experimental album from her previous efforts. Her music tastes were shifting as was pop music and she wanted to make an album that went with the change. When 2010 was starting, electropop was coming into the forefront and that is the direction she wanted to go. She saw the success of I Kissed A Girl and Hot N Cold, so she wanted to grow in that space and see what type of album she could make and maybe make her best album to date. In a way, she made this album to show that she can make a shift in music and she can show her haters that she is everyone’s Teenage Dream.
The Album– This is Katy Perry’s 2nd commercial album but 3rd overall. Her first record was a Christian record and then she went away from that and made her first album called One of The Boys and some of that momentum made this record possible. It spawned 5 #1 singles which has never been done since The Beatles. This album was also a pop culture icon, and everyone knows at some point when this album came out and it changed my life and everyone else’s lives. This album got a reissue and it was called Teenage Dream- The Complete Confection. In this review, I will be talking about all the songs on the reissue record which has all of the standard 12 tracks plus 3 new tracks and 2 remixes and 1 acoustic song. It was a great time in her life but also had some things change. She got married and then got divorced in 1 year from Russel Brand and she had the biggest tour of her career. I am also doing this review because this week is the 10th anniversary of this album and it fits with the time because she is about to release a new record and I can’t wait for that but this album really changed my life and it also showed me the type of music I am a fan of today. Teenage Dream is in the top 10 of the best records for 2010 in my opinion.
- 1. Teenage Dream– This song is the title track of the album and it was also the 2nd single for the record. The song is about having a love that is like a teenage dream and you never want to let them go and you will always love how they made you feel. It was a bit simpler when the song starts, and it picks up when the chorus hits. The song is an electro pop song and it is more midtempo but still fun to listen to. The video for this song is very raw and simple and just very opposite from the first single from the record. But it is very well shot, and it did have a director’s cut where you got to see taking off her underwear a little and shaking her butt out of a car. It was very tongue and cheek. No pun intended. But the song overall is very nostalgic, and it gets you remembering if you had a teenage crush and wishing that would be like that forever.
- 2. Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F)– This song is an upbeat and fun song describing a recent night of hedonism that she can remember things from it but not everything but she is pretty sure it was a blast. She goes on to describe what they did and then vows to do it again the next Friday. I think the message here is that life is a blur when you are having fun but you will always remember something that happened and to go forward and keep having fun. To me it is a party anthem that pumps you up and gets you wanting to enjoy yourself and make memories. That’s what it’s all about, having fun making memories and doing it every day.
- 3. California Gurls feat. Snoop Dogg– This song was the 1st single from the album. It was the start of the new era for Katy. The song is about girls from California and what they dress and how they act and how it is so memorable and just can’t get enough of them. The song is very disco influenced has a dance pop beat that is so infectious, it makes you get up and dance and have a party. This was also Katy’s 3rd collaboration with a rapper/group and his verse complements the song so much. Plus, she references listening to Snoop Dogg on the radio. I love this song so much and I remember when I first heard it, I instantaneously loved it and I always feel like I am at the beach when I hear this song. The video for this song was the complete opposite of what I thought it would look like visually. The video is set in a candy land game and Katy and her girlfriends are the players and she just goes along the whole board trying to rescue her friends and they defeat Snoop Dogg with his gummy bear army. This is where the infamous shot comes in where Katy shoots whipped cream out of her boobs, and she is always known for that. So, this video was a pop culture event. Very fun and dance driven video.
- 4. Firework– This song was the 3rd single from the record. This song is about being a firework and showing that you can do anything if you believe in yourself and you can do anything. It is a very inspirational song. The song is dance pop driven and it also gets you moving. It makes you want to go into the club and start pumping your fist in the air and just belting it and knowing you can do anything if you set your mind to it. This song for Katy is one of her favorites. She loves performing it live. I also remember when I heard this song, it made me feel like I belong on this Earth with everyone else and who I am is ok and people just need to get over it. The video for this song was shot in Budapest and Katy brought a bunch of fans out to have a part in her video and they all showed her, their talent and how they are amazing. The video ended with all of the fans making a firework and doing a dance to show unity and how Katy was the middle of the firework. This song was a very special song for her fans and people around the world knowing that they are supposed to be here, and it can be ok to be who you are. I love this song so much.
- 5. Peacock– This song is the 3rd and final promotional single. This song is about exactly what you think it is about from the moment you hear ‘I want to see your peacock-cock’. It’s incredibly raunchy if you take it at face value but it’s infectious. Basically she is begging to see what this guy has in his pants and goads him into showing it off with teasing and urging. But let me trip you out a moment and mention that it really is a double entendre; in my opinion it isn’t his genitals she wants to see, but rather his inside feelings and emotions. She is urging him on to show her what’s deep inside him that his emotions are colorful and mysterious and she wants to see what is going on inside of him. She says she wants to know what is hiding underneath, and I think she means underneath his outside façade. She challenges him to show that side of hi by asking if he is brave enough, because a lot of guys are hesitant to show their inner feelings. By the end of the song she has tried her best to convince him to let her peek into his mind and heart, assuring him that it’s beautiful and will be readily accepted and loved. I think Katy chose to liken this all to a ‘peacock-cock’ is because peacocks are colorful birds, and she assures him his inner self is colorful and amazing. I think she chose them also because of the word ‘cock’ and men are often joked about to be thinking with their manhood between their legs. So really she has addressed several ideas in this song and uses the naughty imagery to catch the listener’s attention with shock value. It is really a genius concept because nobody wants to believe there is a song out there all about a girl wanting to see what a guy has in his pants, so they take a moment to think ‘what can this really be about?’ and it gets their mind diving way deeper than what they first saw. It’s the perfect way to make people realize that there is much deeper meaning to songs than the seemingly random choice of images and words and to stop and think what the true meaning and message may be.
- 6. Circle The Drain– This is the 2nd promotional single. This particular song gives me a slight rocker feel with the electric guitars in the back. It’s very up-tempo and fun with a chorus that ingrains itself into your mind. The message I get from it is that Katy is telling someone they are pretty much not worth her time because they have no meaning to their life. They have no direction, no goals, no desires. They just go in circles doing nothing, ready to fall into a void any second. She tells this person that she refuses to stick around and watch it, that she has things worth living for and would rather spend time doing those things than watching them be pointless. In a way it is kind of inspiring in a tough love sort of way, pushing someone to do better with their lives because right now they are disappointing and have so much more potential. I find this song very easy to get stuck in my head but it is also a good reminder that other people are not responsible for you and that if you don’t better yourself, people will not stick by you.
- 7. The One That Got Away– This song is the 6th single from this album and it was right before the reissue was made. This song is about wishing that you had that special someone in your life still, but they will always be the one that got away. It is such a sad song. But the up-tempo beat makes you want to get through the pain and keep the memories and just move on. I love this song so much and I was so glad it became a single and it shows how multifaceted Katy is. This song got me through a lot of break-ups and how I can get through it and even though I might have thought they were the one, but sometimes people can be like seasons in your life and you just have to live your life and move on and take those experiences and the trials and tribulations and learn from your mistakes and just be able to know that you are ok and you will move on from this hardship. The video for this song was so beautifully shot and it showed off Katy’s acting chops and showed that she is a quadruple threat. The video is about an old couple in a fancy house in the future and she is coming back from a meeting and she starts to pour some coffee and remembers the guy she used to date and how that was so chaotic and fun and just living life with a new start. The life she has currently is safe and secure and her past relationship was the completely opposite. It ends with the relationship going awry and the guy crashes and he dies. She goes to where he died, and she remembers all of what they had together. Then a small part of a Johnny Cash song plays and the video ends. Very well done and it tugs at the heart strings.
- 8. E.T.- This is easily my favorite Katy Perry song. The beat gets stuck in my head almost immediately every time I hear it. The message of this song is pretty easy to see; basically Katy is praising someone for being different and saying that we should accept people who are different and give them the same love we would give to anyone else. It’s a celebration of being different, whether it is sexuality, gender, race, anything. The music video is a lot of fun to watch as Katy has some very interesting outfits reminiscent of Queen Amidala while exploring beautiful landscapes. At the end she meets up with someone and we see that she is just as different as the person she meets. I love this song so much for its flavor and message and the video is always a thrill to watch.
- 9. Who Am I Living For?– This song is about taking biblical references to show is she supposed to be brought up by living for God but she thinks she has something else to live for and she is using that fuel to go to combat with herself and as the big question, who is she living for at the end of it all. This song has electro influences and dubstep beats and it is a song to get you thinking about your questions for life and how you must battle them to make sure you are happy at the end of the day. I remember it took a little bit before I decided to make this song one of my favorites. It isn’t my favorite Katy Perry song, but I love how hard the beats hit and the synths are just so crisp when I hear this song. Very well produced song.
- 10. Pearl– This song is a story talking about a woman who is controlled by a man and keeps pushing her below him and doesn’t realize that is a pearl and she could rule the world. This is also a song that I didn’t think I would like. It wasn’t the typical dance pop that I was used to from her, but I love this song so much and I am so glad that when I gave this song a second chance. It speaks to me personally because I used to let my exes tear me down and hurt me so much that I didn’t have a say in anything anymore and my opinion was just another statement that didn’t need to be heard but I know now that I just do not need people in my life like that anymore. Very pretty song and it has a great message for abusers and people who try to bring other people down.
- 11. Hummingbird Heartbeat– This song was the last single done for the whole Teenage Dream record. It ended the era with a perfect bow. This song is about the birds and the bees and how someone can make your heartbeat like a hummingbird and how its really fast. So, the song has a lot of sexual innuendos and just plays on saying you make me feel like we are having sex without saying outright. The song starts out with the synths and it is catchy, but it isn’t my favorite song. I wish they had picked another song to be the last promotional single, but it did chart for radio in other countries. I usually forget this song was a single, but it is a good pop song with some hard rock influences.
- 12. Not Like The Movies– This song was the 1st promotional single from the album and it is a bit slower. It is a ballad and it shows off her vocals and tells a story. The song is about realizing that not every relationship is not like the movies and Katy wishes to have that love one day and just how cinematic and dramatic and flashy and shiny it is. The song is the only ballad on the album, and it shows a softer side to what Katy can do. It is not all about party, pop songs and she can get vulnerable. This song is so beautiful, and I have always loved this song when I first heard it and I just think about how I also wish I had that perfect relationship in the movies. It is fun to sing and think about life like that.
- 13. The One That Got Away (Acoustic)– This song is the acoustic version of the 7th track of the same name and it makes the song a lot more dramatic and more emotional. She takes away the beat adds just a guitar and just sings, and it is very sad, but it is also a way to get through the pain. I am not a big fan of the acoustic version, but it definitely gives me raw emotions when I listen to it.
- 14. Part of Me– This song is the first song on the reissue, and it was released at the albums 7th single for the Teenage Dream era. It is a very up-tempo, dance track and it gets you to listen to the lyrics but also makes you feel empowered and just wanting to shout the lyrics from the top of your lungs. The song is about an ex-lover that treated you wrong and makes you want to just never see them again and tell them that you will never have the part of me that is my strength. The video for this song was that Katy broke up with her boyfriend and cut her hair and went into the marines to get away from that life she had left behind and wanted to show her strength and showing that guy wasn’t worth it in the end and she was on top and saying this is the part of me that you will never get.
KT– This song is so meaningful to me because it got me through a lot of tough obstacles in my life and how I can never change what happened to me but I can show that I am stronger that my adversaries and I can rise above the turmoil and just come out victorious. I will forever love this song and want to dance and sing to this song until the end of time
Comie– This song is an anthem of self-empowerment for me. It’s about growth and self-acceptance. Katy speaks about having discovered parts of her that she has accepted are just part of who she is and that no one can take away from her; it’s just who she is. The video helps hammer the message home because we see her start out as a timid woman with a scumbag ex, and she goes on to discover her inner strength and by the end of the video she is the stronger version of herself, having accepted that some things are just part of her, and that nobody can take that away from her no matter how hard they try. I love the message and the song is so upbeat and dancy. It is a genuinely chipper track.
- 15. Wide Awake– This song is the 2nd song released for the reissue of the album. It was the 8th and final single from the story and era of Teenage Dream. The song was also a promotional song for the movie Katy Perry- Part Of Me The Movie and it wrapped up that whole album cycle of radio hits. The song is about coming down from a high from being in a relationship and not realizing the impact and the hit on the ground hurts more than you think. The song is a midtempo song that hits you in your emotions and makes you think about how being in the clouds means the fall will be horrible. The video was literally Katy walking through a maze and it called back to different album era’s and showed that with her childhood innocence, she can get through anything that life throws her way and she will make it out of the maze alive and happy.
KT– This song has so much meaning that I have related to this song so much because I have felt like I was so madly in love and then I came down from that and it hurt like hell and I didn’t know that it would impact me that much. I usually listen to this song if I am going through a breakup.
Comie– Hindsight is 20/20 and this song describes that to a T. When we are in a relationship, sometimes we see everything with rose colored glasses, but when it doesn’t work out, we turn around and see exactly what problems were there and that in the end we may be better off without the other person. It’s a good way of saying you need to open your eyes and pay attention to what’s really going on. I think this applies to relationships but also any kind of situation. Being a trusting person, I often find that sometimes I need to do exactly what she says and wake up, looking at the reality. Go into things awake, your mind open and willing to accept what may or may not be real. I must say my favorite part of the song is when every time she says the words ‘wide awake’’ it has an echo-effect. I also enjoyed the video because it gave me slight Alice in Wonderland vibes.
- 16. Dressin’ Up– This song was a 3rd new song that was made for the reissue and it was promotional song for the reissue of the album. This song is about dressing up for your lover and making their fantasies come to life. The song is a very dance-rock song but it starts out dubstep influences and the jumps into this crazy dance track that you would hear at the club. Plus, the song has a lot of sexual fantasies and it is very sexually driven but it is a fun and flirty song to sing for your lover in bed and just bring each character to life and just having fun until you both are satisfied. There was talks about a video coming out for the song but it never got released because she had begun recording her next record and wanted to focus on that.
- 17. E.T. feat Kanye West– I am not a Kanye fan in the least, so this alternative version of my favorite song did not sit well with me. It also happens to be the version used for the music video. In general I don’t feel like he added anything to her message of acceptance for differences. I fact, his verse inserted into the middle of the song is rather negative in its message, almost coming across as forceful and as if he is mocking people (What’s next? Alien sex?). The song is ten times stronger without him in it, preserving the message of diversity that his version seems to tarnish.
- 18. Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F) feat Missy Elliott– This version of the song almost feels like the other person partying with Katy is recounting their own memories from the night. It starts off with Missy’s own recollection of different events before returning to Katy sharing her own. I like it because it preserves the sense of having fun and making memories while just giving us an additional perspective from someone else who was making those memories with her. I consider it the other side of the same coin Last Friday Night was on. Missy also doesn’t overtake the song and still lets Katy shine, which I like as well.
Cover Art and Reissue– The standard cover art is Katy laying in cotton candy, naked. The candy is covering all of her but you still see enough to get the imagination but also it is a painting of one of Katy’s photos from that photoshoot. The reissue is one of the booklet’s pictures of Katy in a candy crown and it has blue and pink ribbon all over the cover and it has candy also on the cover. It was supposed to show her growth in a way. And she titled the reissue The Complete Confection was a great way to show that this is the whole package of her and her love of candy.
Overall Rating– I would give this album a 5 out of 5 because this album shaped my thinking about what music is and how it can change over time. This album has been around for 10 years and it has become an album that I think no one will ever forget. I know that this album will be a fan favorite and it will show that music is timeless, and this album would probably continue to change people’s lives and how Katy never does the same thing twice. I love this album so much and it is a favorite of mine.
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