• Darby VanDeVeen

Katy Perry’s “Smile” Falls Into Previous Pitfalls

"On an album that had the potential to be so much more, Perry took minimal risks resulting in an unmemorable addition to her discography"

Katy Perry released her sixth-studio album on Friday, August 28 to very mixed reviews from fans and critics alike. Originally scheduled to be released on August 14, Perry wrote on social media that there were “unavoidable production delays” and postponed the release. Before the delay, fans were treated to 5 singles out of the 12 track album.

Overall, Smile preaches the message of self-love and getting back your “smile” after a period of darkness. While this has extremely personal ties to Perry, who started medication in between this release and her last album, Witness. Even knowing the background, songs like “Cry About It Later,” “Teary Eyes,” and “Resilient” have lyrics that come off as cheesy and do nothing to make them stand out production-wise.

In the past Perry has been declared a singles artist with hits like “E.T.,” “Firework,” “Teenage Dream” and so many more. Albums have never been the singer’s strong suit and finding a deep track that’s more enjoyable than the singles is hard to come by. Smile is no different. The highlights (“Never Really Over,” “Daisies”) were released months prior and gave fans time to speculate that Perry was returning to form. It is clear now that Perry has not returned to form and attempted to recreate the massive success of “Firework” with an album full of similar songs.

The main pitfall of the album has to be the lyricism. Lines like “Have you ever lied and just replied ‘I’m fine’?” and “I know there’s gotta be rain/If I want the rainbows” come across like they’re trying to be deep, but end up splashing around in the kiddie pool. It’s clear that Perry does not have the songwriting prowess of some of her competitors and it stands out more than ever on an album all about finding yourself and introspection.

However, if you’re looking for a 3-minute track that could leave you a little bit happier after listening to it, Smile might be for you. It doesn’t require deep listening to feel better after listening to a song and dancing to it. But on an album that had the potential to be so much more, Perry took minimal risks resulting in an unmemorable addition to her discography


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