Katy Perry: Witness
Format: CD, Vinyl, Streaming, Digital Download
Release Date: June 9th, 2017
Album Number: 4
Intro: Witness is Katy’s most personal album to date. Katy had made a shift and the public thought it was going to be one thing and it turned out to be a completely different side to what we have never seen. I do think that she took a risk to show her true emotions and show her raw self and basically show Katheryn Hudson and not Katy Perry. But she is an evolving artist and sometimes switching up your image is what you have to do to keep relevancy in the music industry. Plus, she is trying to say that this album is her trying to overcome her demons and be able to live her life to the fullest extent and be happy.
The Album: This is Katy’s 4th album commercially but 5th album overall. This was her first album that she got a lot of hate from. When the first single came out, she stated “This album will be purposeful pop.” The first single showed that, but the next singles didn’t show that, at least to the public. People were saying that Katy Perry isn’t woke. And people were also comparing her to Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber saying she is heading for a mental breakdown just because she cut her hair, dyed it blonde and was acting more like Katheryn Hudson and not like Katy Perry. During the week leading up to the album release, she participated in a livestream documenting her day-to-day life with celebrity guests. In that livestream, she admitted a lot of pain and sadness that she had been holding on to for years because she had to be this perfect popstar and not a human. A lot of that pain was put into this record and also the feud with Taylor Swift was sort of continued with one of the songs on this album. So, a lot had happened in the past 4 years leading up to this album. People Witnessed Katy Perry show herself as Katheryn Hudson and now we see her true self.
1. Witness- The title song is the song that introduces the record and it’s like to start to an opening chapter. The song is about having a connection with someone who can speak the same language as her. Not English per se but showing that they understand her so that she can have a relationship. It is kind of a more in-depth of what the cover art, but she just wants people to understand her and not just think she is another pop star. When I first heard the song, I liked it a lot and I couldn’t wait for the rest of the album. But I will say the rest of the album doesn’t sound like this song at all. But it was a great way to start the album and go on the journey she wanted to take her fans on. But I will say I love the name Witness for an album name and song title.
2. Hey Hey Hey- This song was the 5th and final single from the album. The song is about women who can do anything men can do. It’s a feminist empowerment song. The video for this song is very 1800’s with modern flair. The video is set like Katy is Marie Antoinette and she is being courted by this weird and perverted man and she wants to just be something more than what her public thinks she needs to be. Then she imagines herself as Joan of Arc who is a feminist icon. And at the end she saves her and takes her with her. The song is very electro-pop, and it has a good dance beat. I like the song. It isn’t my favorite on the record, but it is good one to sing along to.
3. Roulette- This song is about being bored with being safe and secure and never living life. So, she wants to roll the dice and play some roulette and see what the outcome will be. The song is very dance driven. You hear echoes of dance-pop throughout the record and it starts with this song. The song definitely makes you want to dance and listen to the lyrics. I love when songs do that. They make you think but they also make you want to bust a move. I wish this song would have had a video.
4. Swish Swish (feat. Nicki Minaj)- This song is the 3rd single from the record. The song had a video that kind of spoofed Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood. It featured a bunch of celebrity cameos and it was very funny. Which on Taylor’s video, it was very serious. The video was a basketball game against The Tigers and The Sheep and The Tigers won. The video is more of a comedic skit like from SNL with a song in the background. The song is about saying screw you to all of the haters and empowers you to take the high road. The song was speculated about Taylor Swift and it was a response to Bad Blood which was also speculated about Katy. But the feud ended soon after that. The song also samples I get Deep by Roland Clark. The song is a EDM song with some hip-hop. I love this song so much. It makes me feel like a bad bitch and I love to sing this song in the car or at a party.
5. Déjà Vu- This song is about being in a relationship that always argues and has problems, and it feels like déjà vu to her and she keeps coming around to see nothing has changed and nothing will change unless she leaves. The song is also dance driven like I had talked about in the other song. I love this song. Also, a lot of the songs use a lot of autotune but way more advanced and makes you wonder how she was able to make her voice do a lot of the things she does. But I like this song a lot and definitely gets you moving.
6. Power- This song is about showing your partner that you have power not just in the relationship but in your sexuality and in your individuality. She talks about how she is her mother’s daughter, but she has grown from what that means and how she can hold her own and it is empowering to show she can do it also. I am not a big fan of this song. It has a mini-instrumental drum part that introduces the song and the verses and chorus and bridge. So, it is dispersed throughout the whole song. But the song as a whole, it is just too weird and all over the place to keep my attention.
7. Mind Maze- This song is about trying to navigate through life and trying to decide if you just keep letting love take over and keep resetting. But you also wonder if you could do things as just you and not as your alter ego. She has been Katy Perry a very long time and she still is but she wants her true self to shine also and see what she can do as that person. The song is not as dance driven but it still has that EDM feel but not a club banger, but I like how the beats sound like you’re in a video game and just sound so bright and bold and very creative. And the autotune is very prominent in this song. It would be cool to see how she performs it live.
8. Miss You More- This song is about missing someone more than you loved them during the relationship. The song is speculated about John Mayer. She dated him for 3 years and featured on one of his songs from his album. They separated on good terms, but she does still love him in some way shape or form. The song is very beautiful. I see it as an electronic ballad. It is slow enough to get the emotions up, but the electronic sounds dispersed throughout the song make it sound like you’re on a spaceship. This song has gotten me through some hard break ups, and I have had to just listen to this song and cry it out.
9. Chained To The Rhythm (feat. Skip Marley)- This song was the 1st single and it kicked off the Witness era. This song was first described as purposeful pop and it had some political undertones, but it was to get people thinking and dance at the club. The song had a video, and it was a theme park called Oblivia. The video showed Katy in a world that was run by the public being so oblivious to what was going on around them and they not seeing what they are about to get their selves into. So, it has some meaning, but the video is very fun and pop and colorful and makes you want to have a dance party in the 1950’s. When I first heard the song, I wasn’t a big fan of the song but now I like how fun the song is and I like the transition from Skip’s rap to Katy’s chorus. So, it’s a fun song to sing and I loved seeing her perform it live.
10. Tsunami- This song is about Katy using sex to be like a tsunami and how their bodies move like a giant wave and how they make the best love. The song is very sexy, and it is a bit slower, but it definitely conveys the message that she enjoys making love with her lover and she never wants it to end. I used to just skip the song when I would listen to the album but now it has grown on me. The vocals have shown some growth. I have noticed that most of the songs that I wasn’t a fan of, have grown on me or have some meaning to me.
11. Bon Appetit (feat. Migos)- This song was the 2nd single from the album. It strayed away from the message she was saying it being purposeful pop but in a way this song also has sexual purpose and shows that she wants to be comfortable in her skin and embrace her sexuality. This song stirred some controversy when she performed it live on SNL and she was just acting weird, but I think she was enjoying herself and trying to just have fun. The song is about double entendre of sexual activity. The song is very tongue and cheek but very sexy. It definitely touches on food being used in a sexual way. The video is making Katy the meat and she is cooked and served up to people and then she turns it on them and traps them all and makes them into a pie for her to eat. It is very abstract, but it is fun to watch. The song is one of my favorites on the record. I feel like you are setting a mood but also having a lot of fun while trying to own your sexuality. I love it. And as she says, “Bon Appetit baby.”
12. Bigger Than Me- This song is about trying to figure out what your purpose is in your life and what you want to do to make an impact on the world or your community. This song sounds so robotic and makes you think it’s someone else singing the song but it is all Katy and her being autotuned. Plus, half the words sound like one thing but they are something else. This song was partially made because Katy was a proud sponsor of Hillary Clinton and she was very upset when she lost in the 2016 election. So she felt like she needed to remind herself what she is there to do on earth. Another one of my favorites and I love the bridge with all the autotune.
13. Save As Draft- This song starts out like you’re writing a document on an Apple Computer and then she pushes the enter or space bar key and that sound is what you hear throughout the whole song. The song is about using technology as an analogy to tell your partner all your feelings but then changing your mind at the last minute and just saving the document for another date to come back to. She does mention Twitter by name. The song is very beautifully sung and just like Miss You More, it has a deep meaning because I have written so many letters and never sent them or printed them out so I can understand that feeling. This song gets me in the feels.
14. Pendulum- This song is also an empowering song to move past people and using an analogy of a pendulum and how life is like one. The song is very gospel inspired and it features a choir in the background to amplify the sound. The song isn’t really my favorite. I wouldn’t really say it’s the best song either. I’m trying to come around to it, but nothing is saying to listen to it a bunch of times. So, I usually skip it.
15. Into Me You See- This song is what closes the standard edition of the album. If you say the title very fast, it sounds like you’re saying intimacy and she even says that in the song so you get confused if she is saying the title or intimacy. But this song is about her opening up to her now current fiancé Orlando Bloom and how she never shows her most personal sides of herself. I love this song so much. It shows vulnerability and how she is letting her lover in so they can grow as a couple. I thought it was a perfect way to end the record. But it also left you thinking what would happen with her and her lover. Very pretty song and just makes you appreciate when people are open with you and shows trust and strength.
16. Dance With The Devil- This song is about Katheryn getting drunk so she can deal with what Katy Perry has grown into and how she didn’t like how crazy and stressful it would be to be a popstar and she sometimes didn’t like it but now she realizes its who she is at the end of the day and she accepts herself as Katheryn and Katy. The song is very electronic, and it is not dance driven but very dark and different for her. I didn’t hear the song for the first time until 2020 but when I did hear it, I liked it a lot and I always like to try to reach her high notes for this song. Very fun deluxe track.
17. Act My Age- This song is about Katy battling her being in her 30’s and people saying she will lose all her beauty and love life. But she says “why do I have to act my age?” She sometimes feels like a 13 year old in a 30 year old’s body and that’s totally ok. This song has some disco and funk to it. The producer who worked on this song, made other songs with her so it was very natural for her to just make a fun song. I like this song also and the bridge has a skipping beat that sounds so cool. I love it.
Cover Art: The cover art is Katy with blonde hair in a pixie cut which is very different for her. She is covering her eyes with her hands and her mouth is open, but an eyeball is in her mouth. The meaning behind her is because people know her for her image but do they know her for her voice and she wanted people to know her for what she can say and how she can say it. The artwork is a bit weird, but Katy has been known to be weird. Plus, some of the booklet pictures make her look like David Bowie but her spin on it. But I love it. Very unique and creative.
Overall Rating: I give the record a 5 out of 5. It only had 2 songs I wasn’t crazy about, but It was a fun record. I will say when I was writing this review, it was difficult to review a dance record when most dance is pretty much the same, but it had some differences, but I liked it a lot. She said she wanted to make an EDM/dance-pop record and she did, and it has grown on me a lot. A lot of people gave this album hate but I love this album so much.