[BEST OF 2013] Favorite LP: Katy Perry - Prism
Guys, I'm gonna be honest here. I love this record. I've been anxiously waiting for Katy to put out material ever since the whip-cream coated nostalgia laced Teenage Dream came out. The songs on that record are, to me, as classically American as Gershwin and Porter records of yesteryear. And many people I know were expecting Prism to be as cotton candy soaked as it's predecessor. It isn't. And that's a good thing. Prism does something wholly different for me. As a work of musical art, it adheres to popular song traditions, but it defines a completely new sonic space. And as an avid fan of sonics, the audiophile in me was entirely flustered (cheeks all red from excitement kind of flustered) by this release.
From Roar to Legendary Lovers, Dark Horse to International Smile, and the powerful Unconditionally there's something in all these tunes that sounds organic. Maybe it's just those big phat tom tom hits in Unconditionally, but after a few years of fizzing electro dominating the big pop princesses, it's nice to hear production and arrangement that - although still expertly vacuum sealed into pop perfection - is based in an organic and novel gamut of timbres and arrangement. I mean, cmon, there are THREE guitars playing in the beginning of International Smile. THREE. And it sounds like one. Who does that?! I haven't been as struck by such simple and brilliant arrangement since I heard Pete Rugolo's crazy man jazz arrangements.
So this year, Prism easily takes the cake. Thank you based Katy.
Plus, there's a talkbox solo in International Smile. The deal is sealed. Nobody can resist a talkbox solo.