A year after launching the vibrant “Never Really Over” and a few weeks after rescuing one of her best eras with “Daisies”, Katy Perry asked for another moment of our attention with the release of “Smile”, her new official single next self-titled studio album – and basically, music is everything we most wanted and needed right now.
Perry had certain “complications”, so to speak, shortly after the release of ‘Witness’. Fierce criticism of the underrated album and even the market decay she experienced following four albums of pure success put the artist on a reflective stage that would begin a renewed chapter of her own life. “Never Really Over”, as mentioned above, was the prologue to an era that was long awaited by its fans – and even by those who missed its colorful and dancing sound identity.
The new single, while not reaching the same level as other classic songs, like “Dark Horse” and “Roar”, is the latest indication that Katy is back for an escapist, nostalgic and narcotic adventure at her core, inviting us on a journey that goes through its history in the phonographic sphere and looks to a bright future that has everything to work out – and, if it doesn’t work, at least we will know that she is happier than ever.
“Smile” is a tribute to the 1980s and the moving static of ‘Prism’ (his best foray yet); more than that, he signs a very welcome collaboration with producer Josh Abraham, who has worked with well-known and renowned names in music, including P! nk and Kelly Clarkson – and his automatically recognizable production is exuberant and bubbly right away. first seconds, marked by the impactful and resonant presence of synthesizers and a passionate deep-house pop from beginning to end.
As if that weren’t enough, Perry jokingly plays with the message she explores behind this nostalgic upbeat: she recognizes all the difficulties she went through, the whole roller coaster her life had turned into before she “got back into shape” and managed to put a smile on her face – false or not, the acid metaphors she uses are smart enough to keep us stuck in the story being told.
While the lyricism and the instrumental match perfectly and follow a practical and addictive progression, ready to be taken to the dance floors even if surrender to certain conventionalisms of the mainstream panorama, what speaks louder are the eighteenth-century inflections that throw us back for dancefloor legends like Diana Ross and Gloria Gaynor in all their spectra – the song’s similarity to “Upside Down” is chilling and unsettling for the right reasons.
Perhaps the only “slip” committed by Perry is the very short duration of the track, which on the one hand is good and, on the other hand, makes us yearn for more. Anyway, we are facing what may be the most cohesive album of a diva who still has a lot to offer us – even if people no longer believe in her potential.
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