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2. Legendary Lovers
4. Walking on Air
6. Dark Horse (feat. Juicy J)
7. This Is How We Do
8. International Smile
10. Love Me
11. This Moment
12. Double Rainbow
13. By the Grace of God
The album opens with the hit single, "Roar." While I don't necessarily hate the song, I don't find it catchy or really worth more than its role on a radio as background music at a diner.
She's always been a bit cheesy in ways, but Roar is leagues cheesier than "Hot and Cold" or "Futuristic Lover." (It may tie for Firework in terms of cheese.) The other single I've heard before is "Dark Horse," a song with dark tones and some very sexy vocal bits fit for a club. I do prefer it over "Roar" but I don't know if it's really strong enough to stay with me beyond the few times I've heard it. The rapping from Juicy J is weak.
So, on that note, let's see what the rest of the album has to offer. Strangely, there are folk themes throughout, and the most obvious one is found in the second track, "Legendary Lovers." Country-sounding vocals, Indian folk (is that a sitar?) and a driving bluegrass kinda beat are present. A very interesting twist on her usual sound. Instrumentals are cool (if they're even using instruments). I don't love the song, though. See for yourself:
I don't know much about production or what it's like, and I may be mistaken in my interpretation of the term, but this album seems overproduced. Some of the songs are really lacking creative, raw material, and are instead a rehashing of old stuff and it is really not interesting.
"Unconditionally" showcases Katy's actual vocal talent best on this album, if I had to choose. I would probably have liked to hear more songs like it. It sounds fresh in the way that it's not very mainstream. That makes it sexy, kinda like Enrique Iglesias' "Ring My Bells."
It's pretty stupid at parts though. Again I like the "instrumental" bits, if they can be called that...
There are definitely tracks that remind me of her earlier work, though, with "Birthday" taking the cake (pun intended), as it has the disco flair "Last Friday Night" used so well. "Walking on Air" is similar in nature, but has more of a europoppy thing going on. "International Smile," again, alludes to her previous bubblegum pop days. It reminds me of the music that would be playing while I was looking for some deal on underwear in American Eagle Outfitters as a teenager.
The songs "This is How We Do," "Love Me," and "Ghost" don't interest me. They are either generic or boring or simply forgettable somehow. THe end of the album is increasingly cheesy.
Overall rating: 4/10
Conclusion: I've never liked Katy that much, but I think she has entertainment value. The rating she gets from me reflects the small number of vocally strong or innovative tracks, yet the neat twist she puts on an international/folk sound.